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IN 1843. 






^ I 1 



Entered according to the Act of Congress, in the year 18-44, 

By S. M. Fuller, 
in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts 







Si mmt.r days of busy leisure, 

Long summer days of dear-bought pleasure, 

You have done your- teaching well ; 

Had the scholar means to tell 

How grew the vine of bitter-sweet, 

What made the path for truant feet, 

Winter nights would quickly pass, 

Gazing on the magic glass 

< > < r which the new-world shadows pass ; 

15 1 it , in fault of wizard spell, 

\i oderns their tale can only tell 

In dull words, with a poor reed 

Breaking at each time of Deed. 

Bui those to whom a hint suffices 

Mottoes find for all devices, 

See the knights behind their shields, 
Through dried grasses, blooming fields. 

■ * '~*mt\ J- J( -^ 


Some dried grass-tufts from the wide flowery plain, 
A muscle shell from the lone fairy shore, 
Some antlers from tall woods which never more 
To the wild deer a safe retreat can yield, 
An eagle's feather which adorned a Brave, 
Well-nigh the last of his despairing band, 
For such slight gifts wilt thou extend thy hand 
When weary hours a brief refreshment crave ? 
I give you what I can, not what I would, 
If my small drinking-cup would hold a flood, 
As Scandinavia suno- those must contain 
With which the giants gods may entertain ; 
In our dwarf day we drain few drops, and soon must 
thirst again. 


Niagara, June 10, 1843. 

Since you are to share with me such foot-notes as 
may be made on the pages of my life during this 
summer's wanderings, I should not be quite silent as 
to this magnificent prologue to the, as yet, unknown 
drama. Yet I, like others, have little to say where 
the spectacle is, for once, great enough to fill the 
whole life, and supersede thought, giving us only its 
own presence. " It is good to be here," is the best 
as the simplest expression that occurs to the mind. 

We have been here eight days, and I am quite 
willing to go away. So great a sight soon satisfies, 
making us content with itself, and with what is less 
than itself. Our desires, once realized, haunt us 
again less readily. Having " lived one day " we 
would depart, and become worthy to live another. 

We have not been fortunate in weather, for there 
cannot be too much, or too warm sunlight for this 
scene, and the skies have been lowering, with cold, 
unkind winds. My nerves, too much braced up by 
such an atmosphere, do not well bear the continual 
stress of sight and sound. For here there is no 
escape from the weight of a perpetual creation ; all 
other forms and motions come and go, the tide rises 


and recedes, the wind, at its mightiest, moves in 
gales and gusts, but here is really an incessant, an 
indefatigable motion. Awake or asleep, there is no 
escape, still this rushing round you and through you. 
It is in this way I have most felt the grandeur — 
somewhat eternal, if not infinite. 

At times a secondary music rises ; the cataract 
seems to seize its own rhythm and sing it over again, 
so that the ear and soul are roused by a double vi- 
bration. This is some effect of the wind, causing 
echoes to the thundering anthem. It is very sub- 
lime, giving the effect of a spiritual repetition through 
all the spheres. 

When I first came I felt nothing but a quiet 
satisfaction. I found that drawings, the panorama, 
&c. had given me a clear notion of the position and 
proportions of all objects here ; I knew where to 
look for everything, and everything looked as I 
thought it would. 

Long ago, I was looking from a hill-side with a 
friend at one of the finest sunsets that ever enriched 
this world. A little cow-boy, trudging along, won- 
dered what we could be gazing at. After spying 
about some time, he found it could only be the sun- 
set, and looking, too, a moment, he said approvingly 
" that sun looks well enough ;" a speech worthy of 
Shakspeare's Cloten, or the infant Mercury, up to 
everything from the cradle, as you please to take it. 

Even such a familiarity, worthy of Jonathan, our 
national hero, in a prince's palace, or " stumping" 
as he boasts to have done, " up the Vatican stairs, 
into the Pope's presence, in my old boots," I felt 


here ; it looks really well enough, I felt, and was 
inclined, as you suggested, to give my approbation 
as to the one object in the world that would not 

But all great expression, which, on a superficial 
survey, seems so easy as well as so simple, furnishes, 
after a while, to the faithful observer its own standard 
by which to appreciate it. Daily these proportions 
widened and towered more and more upon my sight, 
and I got, at last, a proper foreground for these sub- 
lime distances. Before coming away, I think I really 
saw the full wonder of the scene. After awhile it so 
drew me into itself as to inspire an undefined dread, 
such as I never knew before, such as may be felt 
when death is about to usher us into a new existence. 
The perpetual trampling of the waters seized my 
senses. I felt that no other sound, however near, 
could be heard, and would start and look behind me 
for a foe. I realized the identity of that mood of 
nature in which these waters were poured down 
with such absorbing force, with that in which the 
Indian was shaped on the same soil. For continually 
upon my mind came, unsought and unwelcome, 
images, such as never haunted it before, of naked 
savages stealing behind me with uplifted tomahawks ; 
again and again this illusion recurred, and even after 
I had thought it over, and tried to shake it oft', I 
could not help starting and looking behind me. 

As picture, the Falls can only be seen from the 
British side. There they are seen in their veils, and 
at sufficient distance to appreciate the magical effects 
of these, and the light and shade. From the boat, 



as you cross, the effects and contrasts are more melo- 
dramatic. On the road back from the whirlpool, we 
saw them as a reduced picture with delight. But 
what I liked best was to sit on Table Rock, close to 
the great fall. There all power of observing details, 
all separate consciousness, was quite lost. 

Once, just as I had seated myself there, a man 
came to take his first look. He walked close up to 
the fall, and, after looking at it a moment, with an 
air as if thinking how he could best appropriate it to 
his own use, he spat into it. 

This trait seemed wholly worthy of an age whose 
love of utility is such that the Prince Puckler Mus- 
kau suggests the probability of men coming to put 
the bodies of their dead parents in the fields to fer- 
tilize them, and of a country such as Dickens has 
described ; but these will not, I hope, be seen on the 
historic page to be truly the age or truly the America. 
A little leaven is leavening the whole mass for other 

The whirlpool I like very much. It is seen to ad- 
vantage after the great falls ; it is so sternly solemn. 
The river cannot look more imperturbable, almost sul- 
len in its marble green, than it does just below the 
great fall ; but the slight circles that mark the hidden 
vortex, seem to whisper mysteries the thundering 
voice above could not proclaim, — a meaning as un- 
told as ever. 

It is fearful, too, to know, as you look, that what- 
ever has been swallowed by the cataract, is like to 
rise suddenly to light here, whether up-rooted tree, 
or body of man or bird. 


The rapids enchanted me far beyond what I ex- 
pected ; they are so swift that they cease to seem so ; 
you can think only of their beauty. The fountain 
beyond the Moss Islands, I discovered for myself, and 
thought it for some time an accidental beauty which 
it would not do to leave, lest I might never see it 
again. After I found it permanent, I returned many 
times to watch the play of its crest. In the little 
waterfall beyond, nature seems, as she often does, to 
have made a study for some larger design. She delights 
in this, — a sketch within a sketch, a dream within a 
dream. Wherever we sec it, the lines of the great 
buttress in the fragment of stone, the hues of the 
waterfall, copied in the flowers that star its bordering 
mosses, we are delighted ; for all the lineaments be- 
come fluent, and we mould the scene in congenial 
thought with its genius. 

People complain of the buildings at Niagara, and 
fear to sec it further deformed. I cannot sympathize 
with such an apprehension : the spectacle is capable 
to swallow up all such objects ; they are not seen in 
the great whole, more than an earthworm in a wide 

The beautiful wood on Goat Island is full of flow- 
ers ; many of the fairest love to do homage here. 
The Wake Robin and May Apple arc in bloom now ; 
the former, white, pink, green, purple, copying the 
rainbow of the fall, and fit to make a garland for its 
prqsiding deity when he walks the land, for they 
are of imperial size, and shaped like stones for a dia- 
dem. Of the May Apple, I did not raise one green 
tent without finding a flower beneath. 


And now farewell, Niagara. I have seen thee, 
and I think all who come here must in some sort see 
thee ; thou art not to be got rid of as easily as the 
stars. I will be here again beneath some flooding 
July moon and sun. Owing to the absence of light, 
I have seen the rainbow only two or three times by 
day ; the lunar bow not at all. However, the impe- 
rial presence needs not its crown, though illustrated 
by it. 

General Porter and Jack Downing were not un- 
suitable figures here. The former heroically planted 
the bridges by which we cross to Goat Island, and 
the Wake-Robin-crowned genius has punished his 
termerity with deafness, which must, I think, have 
come upon him when he sank the first stone in the 
rapids. Jack seemed an acute and entertaining rep- 
resentative of Jonathan, come to look at his great 
water-privilege. He told us all about the American- 
isms of the spectacle ; that is to say, the battles that 
have been fought here. It seems strange that men 
could fight in such a place ; but no temple can still the 
personal griefs and strifes in the breasts of its visiters. 

No less strange is the fact that, in this neighbor- 
hood, an eagle should be chained for a plaything. 
When a child, I used often to stand at a window 
from which I could see an eagle chained in the bal- 
cony of a museum. The people used to poke at it 
with sticks, and my childish heart would swell with 
indignation as I saw their insults, and the mien with 
which they were borne by the monarch-bird. Its 
eye was dull, and its plumage soiled and shabby, yet, 
in its form and attitude, all the king was visible, though 


sorrowful and dethroned. I never saw another of 
the family till, when passing through the Notch of 
the White Mountains, at that moment striding be- 
fore us in all the panoply of sunset, the driver 
shouted, " Look there ! " and following witli our 
eyes his upward-pointing finger, we saw, soaring slow 
in majestic poise above the highest summit, the bird 
of Jove. It was a glorious sight, yet I know not 
that I felt more on seeing the bird in all its natural 
freedom and royalty, than when, imprisoned and in- 
sulted, he had filled my early thoughts with the By- 
ronic " silent rages " of misanthropy. 

Now, again, I saw him a captive, and addressed by 
the vulgar with the language they seem to find most 
appropriate to such occasions — that of thrusts and 
blows. Silently, his head averted, he ignored their 
existence, as Plotinus or Sophocles might that of a 
modern reviewer. Probably, he listened to the voice 
of the cataract, and felt that congenial powers flowed 
free, and was consoled, though his own wing was 

The story of the P^ecluse of Niagara interested 
me a little. It is wonderful that men do not oftener 
attach their lives to localities of great beauty — that, 
when once deeply penetrated, they will let themselves 
so easily be borne away by the general stream of 
things, to live any where and any how. But there is 
something ludicrous in being the hermit of a show- 
place^ unlike St. Francis in his mountain-bed, where 
none but the stars and rising sun ever saw him. 

There is also a "guide to the falls," who wears 
his title labeled on his hat ; otherwise, indeed, one 


might as soon think of asking for a gentleman usher 
to point out the moon. Yet why should we wonder 
at such, either, when we have Commentaries on 
Shakspeare, and Harmonies of the Gospels ? 

And now you have the little all I have to write. 
Can it interest you ? To one who has enjoyed the 
full life of any scene, of any hour, what thoughts ' 
can be recorded about it, seem like the commas and 
semicolons in the paragraph, mere stops. Yet I 
suppose it is not so to the absent. At least, I have 
read things written about Niagara, music, and the 
like, that interested me. Once I was moved bv Mr. 
Greenwood's remark, that he could not realize this 
marvel till, opening his eyes the next morning after 
he had seen it, his doubt as to the possibility of its 
being still there, taught him what he had experienced. 
I remember this now with pleasure, though, or be- 
cause, it is exactly the opposite to what I myself felt. 
For all greatness affects different minds, each in " its 
own particular kind," and the variations of testimony 
mark the truth of feeling. 

I will add a brief narrative of the experience of 
another here, as being much better than anything I 
could write, because more simple and individual. 

" Now that I have left this c Earth-wonder,' and 
the emotions it excited are past, it seems not so much 
like profanation to analyze my feelings, to recall mi- 
nutely and accurately the effect of this manifestation 
of the Eternal. But one should go to such a scene 
prepared to yield entirely to its influences, to forget 
one's little self and one's little mind. To see a misera- 
ble worm creep to the brink of this falling world of 


waters, and watch the trembling of its own petty 
bosom, and fancy that this is made alone to act upon 
him excites — derision ? — No, — pity." 

As I rode up to the neighborhood of the falls, a 
solemn awe imperceptibly stole over me, and the 
deep sound of the ever-hurrying rapids prepared 
my mind for the lofty emotions to be experienced. 
When I reached the hotel, I felt a strange indiffer- 
ence about seeing the aspiration of my life's hopes. 
I lounged about the rooms, read the stage bills upon 
the walls, looked over the register, and, finding the 
name of an acquaintance, sent to see if he was still 
there. What this hesitation arose from, I know 
not ; perhaps it was a feeling of my unworthiness to 
enter this temple which nature has erected to its 

At last, slowly and thoughtfully I walked down to 
the bridge leading to Goat Island, and when I stood 
upon this frail support, and saw a quarter of a mile 
of tumbling, rushing rapids, and heard their everlast- 
ing roar, my emotions overpowered me, a choaking 
sensation rose to my throat, a thrill rushed through 
my veins, "my blood ran rippling to my finger's 
ends." This was the climax of the effect which the 
falls produced upon me — neither the American nor 
the British fall moved me as did these rapids. For 
the magnificence, the sublimity of the latter I was 
prepared by descriptions and by paintings. When I 
arrived in sight of them I merely felt, u ah, yes, here 
is the fall, just as I have seen it in picture." When 
I arrived at the terrapin bridge, I expected to be 
overwhelmed, to retire trembling from this giddy 


eminence, and gaze with unlimited wonder and awe 
upon the immense mass rolling on and on, but, 
somehow or other, I thought only of comparing the 
effect on my mind with what I had read and heard. 
I looked for a short time, and then with almost a 
feeling of disappointment, turned to go to the other 
points of view to see if I was not mistaken in not 
feeling any surpassing emotion at this sight. But 
from the foot of Biddle's stairs, and the middle of 
the river, and from below the table rock, it was still 
" barren, barren all." And, provoked with my stu- 
pidity in feeling most moved in the wrong place, I 
turned away to the hotel, determined to set off for 
Buffalo that afternoon. But the stage did not go, 
and, after nightfall, as there was a splendid moon, I 
went down to the bridge, and leaned over the para- 
pet, where the boiling rapids came down in their 
might. It was grand, and it was also gorgeous ; the 
yellow rays of the moon made the broken waves 
appear like auburn tresses twining around the black 
rocks. But they did not inspire me as before. I 
felt a foreboding of a mightier emotion to rise up 
and swallow all others, and I passed on to the ter- 
rapin bridge. Everything was changed, the misty 
apparition had taken off its many-colored crown 
which it had worn by day, and a bow of silvery 
white spanned its summit. The moonlight gave a 
poetical indefiniteness to the distant parts of the 
waters, and while the rapids were glancing in her 
beams, the river below the falls was black as night, 
save where the reflection of the sky gave it the ap- 
pearance of a shield of blued steel. No gaping 


tourists loitered, eyeing with their glasses, or sketch- 
ing on cards the hoary locks of the ancient river god. 
All tended to harmonize with the natural grandeur 
of the scene. I gazed long. I saw how here muta- 
bility and unchangeableness were united. I surveyed 
the conspiring waters rushing against the rocky ledge 
to overthrow it at one mad plunge, till, like toppling 
ambition, o'erleaping themselves, they fall on t'other 
side, expanding into foam ere they reach the deep 
channel where they creep submissively away. 

Then arose in my breast a genuine admiration, 
and a humble adoration of the Being who was the 
architect of this and of all. Happy were the first 
discoverers of Niagara, those who could come una- 
wares upon this view and upon that, whose feelings 
were entirely their own. Witli what gusto does 
Father Hennepin describe " this great downfall of 
water," " this vast and prodigious cadence of water, 
which falls down after a surprising and astonishing 
manner, insomuch that the universe does not ailbrd 
its parallel. 'Tis true Italy and Swedeland boast of 
some such things, but we may well say that they be 
sorry patterns when compared with this of which we 
do now speak." 



Scene, Steamboat — About to leave Buffalo — 
Baggage coming on board — Passengers bust- 
ling for their berths — Little boys persecuting 
everybody with their newspapers and pamphlets 
— J., S. and M. huddled up in a forlorn corner, 
behind a large trunk — A heavy rain falling. 

M. Water, water everywhere. After Niagara 
one would like a dry strip of existence. And at 
any rate it is quite enough for me to have, it under 
foot without having it over head in this way. 

J. Ah, do not abuse the gentle element. It is 
hardly possible to have too much of it, and indeed, if 
I were obliged to choose amid the four, it would be 
the one in which I could bear confinement best. 

& You would make a pretty Undine, to be 
sure ! 

J. Nay, I only offered myself as a Triton, a 
boisterous Triton of the sounding shell. You, M. I 
suppose, would be a salamander, rather. 

M. No ! that is too equivocal a position, whether 


in modern mythology, or Hoffman's tales. I should 
choose to be a gnome. 

J. That choice savors of the pride that apes 

M. By no means ; the gnomes are the most im- 
portant of all the elemental tribes. Is it not they 
who make the money ? 

J. And are accordingly a dark, mean, scoff- 

M. You talk as if you had always lived in that 
wild unprofitable element you are so fond of, where 
all things glitter, and nothing is gold ; all show and 
no substance. My people work in the secret, and 
their works praise them in the open light ; they re- 
main in the dark because only there such marvels 
could be bred. You call them mean. They do not 
spend their energies on their own growth, or their 
own play, but to feed the veins of mother earth with 
permanent splendors, very different from what she 
shows on the surface. 

Think of passing a life, not merely in heaping 
together, but making gold. Of all dreams, that of 
the alchymist is the most poetical, for he looked at 
the finest symbol. Gold, says one of our friends, is 
the hidden light of the earth, it crowns the mineral, 
as wine the vegetable order, being the last expres- 
sion of vital energy. 

J. Have you paid for your passage ? 

M. Yes ! and in gold, not in shells or pebbles. 

J. No really wise gnome would scoff at the 
water, the beautiful water. " The spirit of man is 
like the water." 


S. Yes, and like the air and fire, no less. 

J. Yes, but not like the earth, this low-minded 
creature's chosen dwelling. 

M. The earth is spirit made fruitful, — life. 
And its heart-beats are told in gold and wine. 

J. Oh ! it is shocking to hear such sentiments in 
these times. I thought that Bacchic energy of yours 
was long since repressed. 

M. No ! I have only learned to mix water with 
my wine, and stamp upon my gold the heads of 
kings, or the hieroglyphics of worship. But since I 
have learnt to mix with water, let's hear what you 
have to say in praise of your favorite. 

J. From water Venus was born, what more 
would you have ? It is the mother of Beauty, the 
girdle of earth, and the marriage of nations. 

S. Without any of that high-flown poetry, it is 
enough, I think, that it is the great artist, turning all 
objects that approach it to picture. 

J. True, no object that touches it, whether it be 
the cart that ploughs the wave for sea- weed, or the 
boat or plank that rides upon it, but is brought at 
once from the demesne of coarse utilities into that of 
picture. All trades, all callings, become picturesque 
by the water's side, or on the water. The soil, the 
slovenliness is washed out of every calling by its 
touch. All river-crafts, sea-crafts, are picturesque, 
are poetical. Their very slang is poetry. 

M. The reasons for that are complex. 

J. The reason is, that there can be no plodding, 
groping words and motions, on my water as there 
are on your earth. There is no time, no chance for 


them where all moves so rapidly, though so smoothly, 
everything connected with water must be like itself, 
forcible, but clear. That is why sea-slang is so 
poetical ; there is a word for everything and every 
act, and a thing and an act for every word. Sea- 
men must speak quick and bold, but also with utmost 
precision. They cannot reef and brace other than in 
a Homeric dialect — therefore, — (Steamboat bell 
rings.) But I must say a quick good-by. 

M. What, going, going back to earth after all 
this talk upon the other side. Well, that is nowise 
Homeric, but truly modern. 

J. is borne off without time for any reply, but a 
laugh — at himself, of course. 

S. and M. retire to their state-rooms to forget the 
wet, the chill and steamboat smell in their just-bought 
new world of novels. 

Next day, when we stopped at Cleveland, the storm 
was just clearing up; ascending the bluff, we had one 
of the finest views of the lake that could have been 
wished. The varying depths of these lakes give to 
their surface a great variety of coloring, and beneath 
this wild sky and changeful lights, the waters present- 
ed kaleidoscopic varieties of hues, rich, but mournful. 
I admire these bluffs of red, crumbling earth. Here 
land and water meet under very different auspices 
from those of the rock-bound coast to which I have 
been accustomed. There they meet tenderly to chal- 
lenge, and proudly to refuse, though not in fact re- 
pel. But here they meet to mingle, are always rush- 
ing together, and changing places ; a new creation 
takes place beneath the eye. 


The weather grew gradually clearer, but not bright ; 
yet we could see the shore and appreciate the extent 
of these noble waters. 

Coming up the river St. Clair, we saw Indians for 
the first time. They were camped out on the bank. 
It was twilight, and their blanketed forms, in listless 
groups or stealing along the bank, with a lounge and 
a stride so different in its wildness from the rudeness 
of the white settler, gave me the first feeling that I 
really approached the West. 

The people on the boat were almost all New Eng- 
landers, seeking their fortunes. They had brought 
with them their habits of calculation, their cautious 
manners, their love of polemics. It grieved me to 
hear these immigrants who were to be the fathers of 
a new race, all, from the old man down to the little 
girl, talking not of what they should do, but of what 
they should get in the new scene. It was to them a 
prospect, not of the unfolding nobler energies, but of 
more ease, and larger accumulation. It wearied me, 
too, to hear Trinity and Unity discussed in the poor, 
narrow doctrinal way on these free waters ; but that 
will soon cease, there is not time for this clash of 
opinions in the West, where the clash of material in- 
terests is so noisy. They will need the spirit of 
religion more than ever to guide them, but will 
find less time than before for its doctrine. This 
change was to me, who am tired of the war of words 
on these subjects, and believe it only sows the wind 
to reap the whirlwind, refreshing, but I argue nothing 
from it ; there is nothing real in the freedom of thought 
at the West, it is from the position of men's lives, not 


the state of their minds. So soon as they have time, 
unless they grow better meanwhile, they will cavil and 
criticise, and judge other men by their own standard, 
and outrage the law of love every way, just as they 
do with us. 

We reached Mackinaw the evening of the third 
day, but, to my great disappointment, it was too late 
and too rainy to go ashore. The beauty of the island, 
though seen under the most unfavorable circum- 
stances, did not disappoint my expectations. But I 
shall see it to more purpose on my return. 

As the day has passed dully, a cold rain prevent- 
ing us from keeping out in the air, my thoughts have 
been dwelling on a story told when we were ofT De- 
troit, this morning, by a fellow passenger, and whose 
moral beauty touched me profoundly. 

Some years ago, said Mrs. L., my father and mother 
stopped to dine at Detroit. A short time before din- 
ner my father met in the hall Captain P., a friend of 
his youthful days. He had loved P. extremely, as 
did many who knew him, and had not been surprised 
to hear of the distinction and popular esteem which 
his wide knowledge, talents, and noble temper com- 
manded, as he went onward in the world. P. was 
every way fitted to succeed ; his aims were high, but 
not too high for his powers, suggested by an instinct 
of his own capacities, not by an ideal standard drawn 
from culture. Though steadfast in his course, it was 
not to overrun others, his wise self-possession was no 
less for them than himself. He was thoroughly the 
gentleman, gentle because manly, and was a striking 
instance that where there is strength for sincere cour- 


tesy, there is no need of other adaptation to the char- 
acter of others, to make one's way freely and grace- 
fully through the crowd. 

My father was delighted to see him, and after a 
short parley in the hall — " We will dine together," 
he cried, " then we shall have time to tell all our 

P. hesitated a moment, then said, " My wife is with 

" And mine with me," said my father, " that's well ; 
they, too, will have an opportunity of getting acquaint- 
ed and can entertain one another, if they get tired of 
our college stories." 

P. acquiesced, with a grave bow, and shortly after 
they all met in the dining-room. My father was 
much surprised at the appearance of Mrs. P. He 
had heard that his friend married abroad, but nothing 
further, and he was not prepared to see the calm, dig- 
nified P. with a woman on his arm, still handsome, 
indeed, but whose coarse and imperious expression 
showed as low habits of mind as her exaggerated dress 
and gesture did of education. Nor could there be a 
greater contrast to my mother, who, though under- 
standing her claims and place with the certainty of a 
lady, was soft and retiring in an uncommon degree. 

However, there was no time to wonder or fancy ; 
they sat down, and P. engaged in conversation, with- 
out much vivacity, but with his usual ease. The first 
quarter of an hour passed well enough. But soon it 
was observable that Mrs. P. was drinking glass after 
glass of wine, to an extent few gentlemen did, even 
then, and soon that she was actually excited by it. 


Before this, her manner had been brusque, if not con- 
temptuous towards her new acquaintance ; now it 
became, towards my mother especially, quite rude. 
Presently she took up some slight remark made by 
my mother, which, though it did not naturally mean 
anything of the sort, could be twisted into some re- 
flection upon England, and made it a handle, first 
of vulgar sarcasm, and then, upon my mother's de- 
fending herself with some surprise and gentle dignity, 
hurled upon her a volley of abuse, beyond Billings- 

My mother, confounded, feeling scenes and ideas 
presented to her mind equally new and painful, sat 
trembling ; she knew not what to do, tears rushed in- 
to her eyes. My father, no less distressed, yet un- 
willing to outrage the feelings of his friend by doing 
or saying what his indignation prompted, turned an 
appealing look on P. 

Never, as he often said, was the painful expression 
of that sight effaced from his mind. It haunted his 
dreams and disturbed his waking thoughts. P. sat 
with his head bent forward, and his eyes cast down, 
pale, but calm, witli a fixed expression, not merely of 
patient wo, but of patient shame, which it would not 
have been thought possible for that noble counten- 
ance to w 7 ear, " yet," said my father, " it became him. 
At other times he was handsome, but then beautiful, 
though of a beauty saddened and abashed. For a 
spiritual light borrowed from the worldly perfection 
of his mien that illustration by contrast, which the 
penitence of the Magdalen docs from the glowing 
earthliness of her charms." 


Seeing that he preserved silence, while Mrs. P. 
grew still more exasperated, my father rose and led 
his wife to her own room. Half an hour had passed, 
in painful and wondering surmises, when a gentle 
knock was heard at the door, and P. entered equipped 
for a journey. " We are just going," he said, and 
holding out his hand, but without looking at them, 
" Forgive." 

They each took his hand, and silently pressed it, 
then he went without a word more. 

Some time passed and they heard now and then of 
P., as he passed from one army station to another, 
with his uncongenial companion, who became, it was 
said, constantly more degraded. Whoever mentioned 
having seen them, wondered at the chance which had 
yoked him to such a woman, but yet more at the 
silent fortitude with which he bore it. Many blamed 
him for enduring it, apparently without efforts to 
check her; others answered that he had probably 
made such at an earlier period, and finding them un- 
availing, had resigned himself to despair, and was too 
delicate to meet the scandal that, with such a resist- 
ance as such a woman could offer, must attend a formal 

But my father, who was not in such haste to come 
to conclusions, and substitute some plausible explana- 
tion for the truth, found something in the look of P. 
at that trying moment to which none of these expla- 
nations offered a key. There was in it, he felt, a 
fortitude, but not the fortitude of the hero, a religious 
submission, above the penitent, if not enkindled with 
the enthusiasm of the martyr. 


nave said that my father was not one of those 
• v^lio are ready to substitute specious explanations for 
truth, and those who are thus abstinent rarely lay 
their hand on a thread without making it a clue. 
Such an one, like the dexterous weaver, lets not one 
color go, till he finds that which matches it in the pat- 
tern ; he keeps on weaving, but chooses his shades, 
and my father found at last what he wanted to make 
out the pattern for himself. He met a lady who had 
been intimate with both himself and P. in early days, 
and finding she had seen the latter abroad, asked if 
she knew the circumstances of the marriage. " The 
circumstances of the act I know," she said, " which 
sealed the misery of our friend, though as much in 
the dark as any one about the motives that led to it." 

We were quite intimate with P. in London, and 
he was our most delightful companion. He was then 
in the full flower of the varied accomplishments, which 
set off his fine manners and dignified character, join- 
ed, towards those he loved, with a certain soft wil- 
lingness which gives the desirable chivalry to a man. 
None was more clear of choice where his personal 
affections were not touched, but where they were, it 
cost him pain to say no, on the slightest occasion. 
I have thought this must have had some connexion 
with the mystery of his misfortunes. 

One day he called on me, and, without any preface, 
asked if I would be present next day at his marriage. 
I was so surprised, and so unpleasantly surprised, 
that I did not at first answer a word. We had been 
on terms so familiar, that I thought I knew all about 
him, yet had never dreamed of his having an attach- 


ment, and, though I had never inquired on the sub- 
ject, yet this reserve, where perfect openness had been 
supposed, and really, on my side, existed, seemed to 
me a kind of treachery. Then it is never pleasant to 
know that a heart, on which we have some claim, is 
to be given to another. We cannot tell how it will 
affect our own relations with a person; it may 
strengthen or it may swallow up other affections; 
the crisis is hazardous, and our first thought, on such 
an occasion, is too often for ourselves, at least, mine 
was. Seeing me silent, he repeated his question. 

To whom, said I, are you to be married ? 

That, he replied, I cannot tell you. He was 'a 
moment silent, then continued with an impassive look 
of cold self-possession, that affected me with strange 

" The name of the person you will hear, of course, 
at the time, but more I cannot tell you. I need, 
however, the presence, not only of legal, but of re- 
spectable and friendly witnesses. I have hoped you 
and your husband would do me this kindness. Will 
you ? " 

Something in his manner made it impossible to re- 
fuse. I answered before I knew I was going to speak, 
" We will," and he left me. 

I will not weary you with telling how I harassed 
myself and my husband, who was, however, scarce 
less interested,- with doubts and conjectures. Suffice 
it that, next morning, P. came and took us in a car- 
riage to a distant church. We had just entered the 
porch when a cart, such as fruit and vegetables are 
brought to market in, drove up, containing an elderly 


woman and a young girl. P. assisted them to alight, 
and advanced with the girl to the altar. 

The girl was neatly dressed and quite handsome, 
yet something in her expression displeased me the 
moment I looked upon her. Meanwhile the cere- 
mony was going on, and, at its close, P. introduced 
us to the bride, and we all went to the door. 

Good-by, Fanny, said the elderly woman. The 
new-made Mrs. P. replied without any token of af- 
fection or emotion. The woman got into the cart 
and drove away. 

From that time I saw but little of P. or his wife. 
I took our mutual friends to see her, and they were 
civil to her for his sake. Curiosity was very much 
excited, but entirely baffled ; no one, of course, dared 
speak to P. on the subject, and no other means could 
be found of solving the riddle. 

lie treated his wife with grave and kind politeness, 
but it was always obvious that they had nothing in 
common between them. Her manners and tastes 
were not at that time gross, but her character showed 
itself hard and material. She was fond of riding, 
and spent much time so. Her style in this, and in 
dress, seemed the opposite of P.'s ; but he indulged 
all her wishes, while, for himself, he plunged into his 
own pursuits. 

For a time he seemed, if not happy, not positively 
unhappy ; but, after a few years, Mrs. P. fell into the 
habit of drinking, and then such scenes as you wit- 
nessed grew frequent. I have often heard of them, 
and always that P. sat, as you describe him, his head 
bowed down and perfectly silent all through, what- 


ever might be done or whoever be present, and al- 
ways his aspect has inspired such sympathy that no 
person has questioned him or resented her insults, 
but merely got out of the way, so soon as possible. 

Hard and long penance, said my father, after some 
minutes musing, for an hour of passion, probably for 
his only error. 

Is that your explanation ? said the lady. O, im- 
probable. P. might err, but not be led beyond him- 

I know his cool gray eye and calm complexion 
seemed to say so, but a different story is told by the 
lip that could tremble, and showed what flashes might 
pierce those deep blue heavens ; and when these over 
intellectual beings do swerve aside, it is to fall down 
a precipice, for their narrow path lies over sucn. 
But he was not one to sin without making a brave 
atonement, and that it had become a holy one, was 
written on that downcast brow. 

The fourth day on these waters, the weather was 
milder and brighter, so that we could now see them 
to some purpose. At night was clear moon, and, 
for the first time, from the upper deck, I saw one of 
the great steamboats come majestically up. It was 
glowing with lights, looking many-eyed and saga- 
cious ; in its heavy motion it seemed a dowager 
queen, and this motion, with its solemn pulse, and 
determined sweep, becomes these smooth waters, 
especially at night, as much as the dip of the sail- 
ship the long billows of the ocean. 

But it was not so soon that I learned to appreciate 
the lake scenery ; it was only after a daily and care- 


less familiarity that I entered into its beauty, for na- 
ture always refuses to be seen by being stared at. 
Like Bonaparte, she discharges her face of all ex- 
pression when she catches the eye of impertinent 
curiosity fixed on her. But he who has gone to 
sleep in childish ease on her lap, or leaned an aching 
brow upon her breast, seeking there comfort with 
full trust as from a mother, will see all a mother's 
beauty in the look she bends upon him. Later, I 
felt that I had really seen these regions, and shall 
speak of them again. 

In the afternoon we went on shore at the Manitou 
islands, where the boat stops to wood. No one 
lives here except woodcutters for the steamboats. I 
had thought of such a position, from its mixture of 
profound solitude with service to the great world, 
as possessing an ideal beauty. I think so still, after 
seeing the woodcutters and their slovenly huts. 

In times of slower growth, man did not enter a 
situation without a certain preparation or adapted- 
ness to it. He drew from it, if not to the poetical 
extent, at least, in some proportion, its moral and its 
meaning. The woodcutter did not cut down so 
many trees a day, that the hamadryads had not time 
to make their plaints heard ; the shepherd tended 
his sheep, and did no jobs or chores the while ; the 
idyl had a chance to grow up, and modulate his 
oaten pipe* But now the poet must be at the whole 
expense of the poetry in describing one of these 
positions ; the worker is a true Midas to the gold he 
makes. The poet must describe, as the painter 
sketches Irish peasant girls and Danish fishwives, 
adding the beauty, and leaving out the dirt. 


I come to the west prepared for the distaste I must 
experience at its mushroom growth. I know that 
where " go ahead " is the only motto, the village 
cannot grow into the gentle proportions that suc- 
cessive lives, and the gradations of experience in- 
voluntarily give. In older countries the house of the 
son grew from that of the father, as naturally as new 
joints on a bough. And the cathedral crowned the 
whole as naturally as the leafy summit the tree. This 
cannot be here. The march of peaceful is scarce 
less wanton than that of warlike invasion. The old 
landmarks are broken down, and the land, for a sea- 
son, bears none, except of the rudeness of conquest 
and the needs of the day, whose bivouac fires blacken 
the sweetest forest glades. I have come prepared to 
see all this, to dislike it, but not with stupid narrow- 
ness to distrust or defame. On the contrary, while 
I will not be so obliging as to confound ugliness with 
beauty, discord with harmony, and laud and be con- 
tented with all I meet, when it conflicts with my 
best desires and tastes, I trust by reverent faith to 
woo the mighty meaning of the scene, perhaps to 
foresee the law by which a new order, a new poetry 
is to be evoked from this chaos, and with a curiosity 
as ardent, but not so selfish as that of Macbeth, to call 
up the apparitions of future kings from the strange 
ingredients of the witch's caldron. Thus, I will not 
grieve that all the noble trees are gone already from 
this island to feed this caldron, but believe it will 
have Medea's virtue, and reproduce them in the 
form of new intellectual growths, since centuries can- 
not again adorn the land with such. 


On this most beautiful beacli of smooth white peb- 
bles, interspersed with agates and cornelians, for 
those who know how to find them, we stepped, not 
like the Indian, with some humble offering, which, if 
no better than an arrow-head or a little parched 
corn, would, he judged, please the Manitou, who 
looks only at the spirit in which it is offered. Our 
visit was so far for a religious purpose that one of our 
party went to inquire the fate of some Unitarian 
tracts left among the woodcutters a year or two be- 
fore. But the old Manitou, though, daunted like his 
children by the approach of the fire-ships which he 
probably considered demons of a new dynasty, he 
had suffered his woods to be felled to feed their 
pride, had been less patient of an encroachment, 
which did not to him seem so authorized by the law 
of the strongest, and had scattered those leaves as 
carelessly as the others of that year. 

But S. and I, like other emigrants, went not to 
give, but to get, to rifle the wood of flowers for the 
service of the fire-ship. We returned with a rich 
booty, among which was the uva ursi. whose leaves 
the Indians smoke, with the kinnick-kinnick, and 
which had then just put forth its highly-finished little 
blossoms, as pretty as those of the blueberry. 

Passing along still further, I thought it would be 
well if the crowds assembled to stare from the va- 
rious landings were still confined to the kinnick-kin- 
nick, for almost all had tobacco written on their 
faces, their checks rounded with plugs, their eyes 
dull with its fumes. We reached Chicago on the 
evening of the sixth day, having been out five days 


and a half, a rather longer passage than usual at a 
favorable season of the year. 

Chicago, June 20. 

There can be no two places in the world more 
completely thoroughfares than this place and Buffalo. 
They are the two correspondent valves that open and 
shut all the time, as the life-blood rushes from east 
to west, and back again from west to east. 

Since it is their office thus to be the doors, and let 
in and out, it would be unfair to expect from them 
much character of their own. To make the best 
provisions for the transmission of produce is their 
office, and the people who live there are such as are 
suited for this ; active, complaisant, inventive, business 
people. There are no provisions for the student or 
idler ; to know what the place can give, you should 
be at work with the rest, the mere traveller will not 
find it profitable to loiter there as I did. 

Since circumstances made it necessary for me so 
to do, I read all the books I could find about the 
new region, which now began to become real to 
me. All the books about the Indians, a paltry col- 
lection, truly, yet which furnished material for many 
thoughts. The most narrow-minded and awkward 
recital still bears some lineaments of the great fea- 
tures of this nature, and the races of men that 
illustrated them. 

Catlin's book is far the best. I was afterwards 
assured by those acquainted with the regions he 
describes, that he is not to be depended on for the 
accuracy of his facts, and, indeed, it is obvious, with- 


out the aid of such assertions, that he sometimes 
yields to the temptation of making out a story. 
They admitted, however, what from my feelings I 
was sure of, that he is true to the spirit of the scene, 
and that a far better view can be got from him than 
from any source at present existing, of the Indian 
tribes of the far west, and of the country where their 
inheritance lay. 

Murray's travels I read, and was charmed by their 
accuracy and clear broad tone. He is the only 
Englishman that seems to have traversed these re- 
gions, as man, simply, not as John Bull. He de- 
serves to belong to an aristocracy, for he showed his 
title to it more when left without a guide in the 
wilderness, than he can at the court of Victoria. He 
has, himself, no poetic force at description, but it is 
easy to make images from his hints. Yet we believe 
the Indian cannot be looked at truly except by a 
poetic eye. The Pawnees, no doubt, are such as he 
describes them, filthy in their habits, and treacherous 
in their character, but some would have seen, and 
seen truly, more beauty and dignity than he docs 
with all his manliness and fairness of mind. How- 
ever, his one fine old man is enough to redeem the 
rest, and is perhaps the relic of a better day, a Pho- 
cion among the Pawnees. 

Schoolcraft's Algic Researches is a valuable book, 
though a worse use could hardly have been made of 
such fine material. Had the mythological or hunt- 
ing stories of the Indians been written down exactly 
as they were received from the lips of the narrators, 
the collection could not have been surpassed in in- 


terest, both for the wild charm they carry with them, 
and the light they throw on a peculiar modification 
of life and mind. As it is, though the incidents 
have an air of originality and pertinence to the occa- 
sion, that gives us confidence that they have not 
been altered, the phraseology in which they were 
expressed has been entirely set aside, and the flimsy 
graces, common to the style of annuals and souve- 
nirs, substituted for the Spartan brevity and sinewy 
grasp of Indian speech. We can just guess what 
might have been there, as we can detect the fine 
proportions of the Brave whom the bad taste of some 
white patron has arranged in frock-coat, hat, and 

The few stories Mrs. Jameson wrote out, though 
to these also a sentimental air has been given, offend 
much less in that way than is common in this book. 
What would we give for a completely faithful ver- 
sion of some among them. Yet with all these draw- 
backs we cannot doubt from internal evidence that 
they truly ascribe to the Indian a delicacy of senti- 
ment and of fancy that justifies Cooper in such in- 
ventions as his Uncas. It is a white man's view of 
a savage hero, who would be far finer in his natural 
proportions ; still, through a masquerade figure, it 
implies the truth. 

Irving's books I also read, some for the first, some 
for the second time, with increased interest, now that 
I was to meet such people as he received his mate- 
rials from. Though the books are pleasing from 
their grace and luminous arrangement, yet, with 
the exception of the Tour to the Prairies, they 


have a stereotype, second-hand air. They lack the 
breath, the glow, the charming minute traits of living 
presence. His scenery is only tit to be glanced at 
from dioramic distance ; his Indians are academic 
figures only. He would have made the best of pic- 
tures, if he could have used his own eyes for studies 
and sketches ; as it is, his success is wonderful, but 

McKenney's Tour to the Lakes is the dullest of 
books, yet faithful and quiet, and gives some facts not 
to be met with elsewhere. 

I also read a collection of Indian anecdotes and 
speeches, the worst compiled and arranged book pos- 
sible, yet not without clues of some value. All these 
books I read in anticipation of a canoe-voyage on 
Lake Superior as far as the Pictured Rocks, and, 
though I was afterwards compelled to give up this 
project, they aided me in judging of what I after- 
wards saw and heard of the Indians. 

In Chicago I first saw the beautiful prairie flowers. 
They were in their glory the first ten days we were 
there — 

" The golden and the flame-like flowers." 

The flame-like flower I was taught afterwards, by 
an Indian girl, to call " Wickapee ;" and she told me, 
too, that its splendors had a useful side, for it was 
used by the Indians as a remedy for an illness to 
which they were subject. 

Beside these brilliant flowers, which gemmed and 
gilt the grass in a sunny afternoon's drive near the 
blue lake, between the low oakwood and the narrow 


beach, stimulated, whether sensuously by the optic 
nerve, unused to so much gold and crimson with such 
tender green, or symbolically through some meaning 
dimly seen in the flowers, I enjoyed a sort of fairy- 
land exultation never felt before, and the first drive 
amid the flowers gave me anticipation of the beauty 
of the prairies. 

At first, the prairie seemed to speak of the very 
desolation of dullness. After sweeping over the vast 
monotony of the lakes to come to this monotony of 
land, with all around a limitless horizon, — to walk, and 
walk, and run, but never climb, oh ! it was too dreary 
for any but a Hollander to bear. How the eye greet- 
ed the approach of a sail, or the smoke of a steam- 
boat ; it seemed that any thing so animated must 
come from a better land, where mountains gave re- 
ligion to the scene. 

The only thing I liked at first to do, was to trace 
with slow and unexpecting step the narrow margin of 
the lake. Sometimes a heavy swell gave it expres- 
sion ; at others, only its varied coloring, which I found 
more admirable every day, and which gave it an air 
of mirage instead of the vastness of ocean. Then 
there was a grandeur in the feeling that I might con- 
tinue that walk, if I had any seven-leagued mode of 
conveyance to save fatigue, for hundreds of miles 
without an obstacle and without a change. 

But after I had rode out, and seen the flowers and 
seen the sun set with that calmness seen only in the 
prairies, and the cattle winding slowly home to their 
homes in the " island groves " — peacefulest of 
sights — I began to love because I began to know 


the scene, and shrank no longer from " the encir- 
cling vastness."' 

It is always thus with the new form of life ; we 
must learn to look at it by its own standard. At first, 
no doubt my accustomed eye kept saying, if the 
mind did not, What ! no distant mountains ? what, 
no valleys? But after a while I would ascend the 
roof of the house where we lived, and pass many 
hours, needing no sight but the moon reigning in the 
heavens, or starlight falling upon the lake, till all the 
lights were out in the island grove of men beneath 
my feet, and felt nearer heaven that there was no- 
thing but this lovely, still reception on the earth ; no 
towering mountains, no deep tree-shadows, nothing 
but plain earth and water bathed in light. 

Sunset, as seen from that place, presented most 
generally, low-lying, flaky clouds, of the softest se- 
renity, "like," said S., " the Buddhist tracts." 

One night a star shot madly from its sphere, and 
it had a fair chance to be seen, but that serenity could 
not be astonished. 

Yes ! it was a peculiar beauty of those sunsets and 
moonlights on the levels of Chicago which Chamou- 
ny or the Trosachs could not make me forget. 

Notwithstanding all the attractions I thus found 
out by degrees on the flat shores of the lake, I was 
delighted when I found myself really on my way into 
the country for an excursion of two or three weeks. 
We set forth in a strong wagon, almost as Iarsre, and 
with the look of those used elsewhere for transport- 
ing caravans of wild beastcscs, loaded with every 
thing we might want, in case nobody would give it 


to us — for buying and selling were no longer to be 
counted on — with a pair of strong horses, able and 
willing to force their way through mud holes and 
amid stumps, and a guide, equally admirable as mar- 
shal and companion, who knew by heart the country 
and its history, both natural and artificial, and whose 
clear hunter's eye needed neither road nor goal to 
guide it to all the spots where beauty best loves to 

Add to this the finest weather, and such country 
as I had never seen, even in my dreams, although 
these dreams had been haunted by wishes for just 
such an one, and you may judge whether years of 
dullness might not, by these bright days, be redeemed, 
and a sweetness be shed over all thoughts of the 

The first day brought us through woods rich in the 
moccasin flower and lupine, and plains whose soft 
expanse was continually touched with expression by 
the slow moving clouds which 

" Sweep over with their shadows, and beneath 
The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye ; 
Dark hollows seem to glide along and chase 
The sunny ridges," 

to the banks of the Fox river, a sweet and graceful 
stream. We reached Geneva just in time to escape 
being drenched by a violent thunder shower, whose 
rise and disappearance threw expression into all the 
features of the scene. 

Geneva reminds me of a New England village, as 
indeed there, and in the neighborhood, are many New 


Englanders of an excellent stamp, generous, intelli- 
gent, discreet, and seeking to win from life its true 
values. Such are much wanted, and seem like points 
of light among the swarms of settlers, whose aims are 
sordid, whose habits thoughtless and slovenly. 

With great pleasure we heard, with his attentive 
and affectionate congregation, the Unitarian clergy- 
man, Mr. Conant, and afterward visited him in his 
house, where almost everything bore traces of his 
own handy work or that of his father. He is just 
such a teacher as is wanted in this region, familiar 
enough with the habits of those he addresses to come 
home to their experience and their wants ; earnest 
and enlightened enough to draw the important infer- 
ences from the life of every day. 

A day or two we remained here, and passed some 
happy hours in the woods that fringe the stream, 
where the gentlemen found a rich booty of fish. 

Next day, travelling along the river's banks, was 
an uninterrupted pleasure. We closed our drive in 
the afternoon at the house of an English gentleman, 
who has gratified, as few men do, the common wish 
to pass the evening of an active day amid the quiet 
influences of country life. He showed us a book- 
case filled with books about this country ; these he 
had collected for years, and become so familiar with 
the localities that, on coming here at last, he sought 
and found, at once, the very spot he wanted, and 
where he is as content as he hoped to be, thus real- 
izing Wordsworth's description of the wise man, who 
" sees what he foresaw." 

A wood surrounds the house, through which paths 


are cut in every direction. It is, for this new coun- 
try, a large and handsome dwelling ; but round it are 
its barns and farm yard, with cattle and poultry. 
These, however, in the framework of wood, have a 
very picturesque and pleasing effect. There is that 
mixture of culture and rudeness in the aspect of 
things as gives a feeling of freedom, not of confusion. 
I wish it were possible to give some idea of this 
scene as viewed by the earliest freshness of dewy 
dawn. This habitation of man seemed like a nest in 
the grass, so thoroughly were the buildings and all the 
objects of human care harmonized with what was 
natural. The tall trees bent and whispered all around, 
as if to hail with sheltering love the men who had 
come to dwell among them. 

The young ladies were musicians, and spoke French 
fluently, having been educated in a convent. Here 
in the prairie, they had learned to take care of the 
milk-room, and kill the rattlesnakes that assailed 
their poultry yard. Beneath the shade of heavy cur- 
tains you looked out from the high and large win- 
dows to see Norwegian peasants at work in their 
national dress. In the wood grew, not only the 
flowers I had before seen, and wealth of tall, wild 
roses, but the splendid blue spiderwort, that or- 
nament of our gardens. Beautiful children strayed 
there, who were soon to leave these civilized regions 
for some really wild and western place, a post 
in the buffalo country. Their no less beautiful 
mother was of Welsh descent, and the eldest child 
bore the name of Gwynthleon. Perhaps there she 
will meet with some young descendants of Madoc, to 


be her friends ; at any rate, her looks may retain that 
sweet, wild beauty, that is soon made to vanish from 
eyes which look too much on shops and streets, and 
the vulgarities of city " parties." 

Next day we crossed the river. We ladies crossed 
on a little foot-bridge, from which we could look down 
the stream, and see the wagon pass over at the ford. 
A black thunder cloud was coming up. The sky 
and waters heavy with expectation. The motion of 
the wagon, with its white cover, and the laboring 
horses, gave just the due interest to the picture, be- 
cause it seemed as if they would not have time to 
cross before the storm came on. However, they did 
get across, and we were a mile or two on our way 
before the violent shower obliged us to take refuge 
in a solitary house upon the prairie. In this coun- 
try it is as pleasant to stop as to go on, to lose 
your way as to find it, for the variety in the popula- 
tion gives you a chance for fresh entertainment in 
every hut, and the luxuriant beauty makes every 
path attractive. In this house we found a family 
" quite above the common," but, I grieve to say, not 
above false pride, for the father, ashamed of being 
caught barefoot, told us a story of a man, one of the 
richest men, he said, in one of the eastern cities, who 
went barefoot, from choice and taste. 

Near the door grew a Provence rose, then in blos- 
som. Other families we saw had brought with them 
and planted the locust. It was pleasant to see their 
old home loves, brought into connection with their 
new splendors. Wherever there were traces of this 
tenderness of feeling, only too rare among Americans, 


other things bore signs also of prosperity and intelli- 
gence, as if the ordering mind of man had some idea 
of home beyond a mere shelter, beneath which to eat 
and sleep. 

No heaven need wear a lovelier aspect than earth 
did this afternoon, after the clearing up of the 
shower. We traversed the blooming plain, un- 
marked by any road, only the friendly track of 
wheels which tracked, not broke the grass. Our 
stations were not from town to town, but from 
grove to grove. These groves first floated like blue 
islands in the distance. As we drew nearer, they 
seemed fair parks, and the little log houses on the 
edge, with their curling smokes, harmonized beauti- 
fully with them. • 

One of these groves, Ross's grove, we reached just 
at sunset. It was of the noblest trees I saw during 
this journey, for the trees generally were not large 
or lofty, but only of fair proportions. Here they 
were large enough to form with their clear stems pil- 
lars for grand cathedral aisles. There was space 
enough for crimson light to stream through upon the 
floor of water which the shower had left. As we 
slowly plashed through, I thought I was never in a 
better place for vespers. 

That night we rested, or rather tarried at a grove 
some miles beyond, and there partook of the miseries 
so often jocosely portrayed, of bedchambers for 
twelve, a milk dish for universal handbasin, and ex- 
pectations that you would use and lend your " han- 
kercher " for a towel. But this was the only night, 
thanks to the hospitality of private families, that we 


passed thus, and it was well that we had this bit of 
experience, else might we have pronounced all Trol- 
lopian records of the kind to be inventions of pure 

With us was a young lady who showed herself to 
have been bathed in the Britannic fluid, wittily de- 
scribed by a late French writer, by the impossibility 
she experienced of accommodating herself to the in- 
decorums of the scene. We ladies were to sleep in 
the bar-room, from which its drinking visiters could 
be ejected only at a late hour. The outer door had 
no fastening to prevent their return. However, our 
host kindly requested we would call him, if they did, 
as he had " conquered them for us," and would do 
so again. We had also rather hard couches ; (mine 
was the supper table.) but we yankees, born to rove, 
were altogether too much fatigued to stand upon 
trifles, and slept as sweetly as we would in the 
" bigly bower " of any baroness. But I think England 
sat up all night, wrapped in her blanket shawl, and 
with a neat lace cap upon her head ; so that she 
would have looked perfectly the lady, if any one had 
come in ; shuddering and listening. I know that she 
was very ill next day, in requital. She watched, as 
her parent country watches the seas, that nobody 
may do wrong in any case, and deserved to have met 
some interruption, she was so well prepared. How- 
ever, there was none, other than from the nearness 
of some twenty sets of powerful lungs, which would 
not leave the night to a deadly stillness. In this 
house we had, if not good beds, yet good tea, good 

bread, and wild strawberries, and were entertained 



with most free communications of opinion and his- 
tory from our hosts. Neither shall any of us have a 
right to say again that we cannot find any who may 
be willing to hear all we may have to say. " A's 
fish that comes to the net," should be painted on the 
sign at Papaw grove. 


In the afternoon of this day we reached the Rock 
river, in whose neighborhood we proposed to make 
some stay, and crossed at Dixon's ferry. 

This beautiful stream flows full and wide over a 
bed of rocks, traversing a distance of near two hun- 
dred miles, to reach the Mississippi. Great part of 
the country along its banks is the finest region of 
Illinois, and the scene of some of the latest romance 
of Indian warfare. To these beautiful regions Black 
Hawk returned with his band " to pass the summer," 
when he drew upon himself the warfare in which he 
was finally vanquished. No wonder he could not 
resist the longing, unwise though its indulgence 
might be, to return in summer to this home of 

Of Illinois, in general, it has often been remarked 
that it bears the character of country which has 
been inhabited by a nation skilled like the English in 
all the ornamental arts of life, especially in landscape 
gardening. That the villas and castles seem to have 
been burnt, the enclosures taken down, but the vel- 


vet lawns, the flower gardens, the stately parks, scat- 
tered at graceful intervals by the decorous hand of 
art, the frequent deer, and the peaceful herd of cat- 
tle that make picture of the plain, all suggest more 
of the masterly mind of man, than the prodigal, but 
careless, motherly love of nature. Especially is this 
true of the Rock river country. The river flows 
sometimes through these parks and lawns, then be- 
twixt high bluffs, whose grassy ridges are covered 
with fine trees, or broken with crumbling stone, 
that easily assumes the forms of buttress, arch and 
clustered columns. Along the face of such crumbling 
rocks, swallows' nests are clustered, thick as cities, 
and eagles and deer do not disdain their summits. 
One morning, out in the boat along the base of 
these rocks, it was amusing, and affecting too, to see 
these swallows put their heads out to look at us. 
There was something very hospitable about it, as if 
man had never shown himself a tyrant near them. 
What a morning that was ! Every sight is worth 
twice as much by the early morning light. We 
borrow something of the spirit of the hour to look 
upon them. 

The first place where we stopped was one of sin- 
gular beauty, a beauty of soft, luxuriant wildness. 
It was on the bend of the river, a place chosen by an 
Irish gentleman, whose absenteeship seems of the 
wisest kind, since for a sum which would have been 
but a drop of water to the thirsty fever of his native 
land, he commands a residence which has all that is 
desirable, in its independence, its beautiful retire- 
ment, and means of benefit to others. 


His park, his deer-chase, he found already pre- 
pared ; he had only to make an avenue through it. 
This brought us by a drive, which in the heat of noon 
seemed long, though afterwards, in the cool of morn- 
ing and evening, delightful, to the house. This is, 
for that part of the world, a large and commodious 
dwelling. Near it stands the log-cabin where its 
master lived while it was building, a very ornamental 

In front of the house was a lawn, adorned by the 
most graceful trees. A few of these had been taken 
out to give a full view of the river, gliding through 
banks such as I have described. On this bend the 
bank is high and bold, so from the house or the 
lawn the view was very rich and commanding. 
But if you descended a ravine at the side to the 
water's edge, you found there a long walk on the 
narrow shore, with a wall above of the richest hang- 
ing wood, in which they said the deer lay hid. I 
never saw one, but often fancied that I heard them 
rustling, at daybreak, by these, bright clear waters, 
stretching out in such smiling promise, where no 
sound broke the deep and blissful seclusion, unless 
now and then this rustling, or the plash of some fish 
a little gayer than the others ; it seemed not neces- 
sary to have any better heaven, or fuller expression 
of love and freedom than in the mood of nature here. 

Then, leaving the bank, you would walk far and 
far through long grassy paths, full of the most bril- 
liant, also the most delicate flowers. The brilliant 
are more common on the prairie, but both kinds 
loved this place. 


Amid the grass of the lawn, with a profusion of 
wild strawberries, we greeted also a familiar love, the 
Scottish harebell, the gentlest, and most touching 
form of the flower-world. 

The master of the house was absent, but with a 
kindness beyond thanks had offered us a resting 
place there. Here we were taken care of by a 
deputy, who would, for his youth, have been as- 
signed the place of a page in former times, but in the 
young west, it seems he was old enough for a stew- 
ard. Whatever be called his function, he did the 
honors of the place so much in harmony with it, as 
to leave the guests free to imagine themselves in 
Elysium. And the three days passed here were days 
of unalloyed, spotless happiness. 

There was a peculiar charm in coming here, where 
the choice of location, and the unobtrusive good taste 
of all the arrangements, showed such intelligent ap- 
preciation of the spirit of the scene, after seeing so 
many dwellings of the new settlers, which showed 
plainly that they had no thought beyond satisfying 
the grossest material wants. Sometimes they looked 
attractive, the little brown houses, the natural arch- 
itecture of the country, in the edge of the timber. 
But almost always when you came near, the sloven- 
liness of the dwelling and the rude way in which 
objects around it were treated, when so little care 
would have presented a charming whole, were very 
repulsive. Seeing the traces of the Indians, who 
chose the most beautiful sites for their dwellings, and 
whose habits do not break in on that aspect of na- 
ture under which they were born, we feel as if they 


were the rightful lords of a beauty they forbore to 
deform. But most of these settlers do not see it at 
all ; it breathes, it speaks in vain to those who are 
rushing into its sphere. Their progress is Gothic, 
not Roman, and their mode of cultivation will, in 
the course of twenty, perhaps ten, years, obliterate 
the natural expression of the country. 

This is inevitable, fatal ; we must not complain, but 
look forward to a good result. Still, in travelling 
through this country, I could not but be struck with 
the force of a symbol. Wherever the hog comes, 
the rattlesnake disappears ; the omnivorous traveller, 
safe in its stupidity, willingly and easily makes a 
meal of the most dangerous of reptiles, and one 
whom the Indian looks on with a mystic awe. Even 
so the white settler pursues the Indian, and is victor 
in the chase. But I shall say more upon the subject 
. by-and-by. 

While we were here we had one grand thunder 
storm, which added new glory to the scene. 

One beautiful feature was the return of the pigeons 
every afternoon to their home. Kverv afternoon 
they came sweeping across the lawn, positively in 
clouds, and with a swiftness and softness of winged 
motion, more beautiful than anything of the kind 
I ever knew. Had I been a musician, sueh as 
Mendelsohn, I felt that I could have improvised a 
music quite peculiar, from the sound they made, 
which should have indicated all the beauty over 
which their wings bore them. I will here insert a 
few lines left at this house, on parting, which feebly 
indicate some of the features. 


Familiar to the childish mind were tales 

Of rock-girt isles amid a desert sea, 
Where unexpected stretch the flowery vales 

To soothe the shipwrecked sailor's misery. 
Fainting, he lay upon a sandy shore, 
And fancied that all hope of life was o'er ; 
But let him patient climb the frowning wall, 
Within, the orange glows beneath the palm tree tall, 
And all that Eden boasted waits his call. 

Almost these tales seem realized to-day, 
When the long dullness of the sultry way, 
Where " independent" settlers' careless cheer 
Made us indeed feel we were " strangers" here, 
Is cheered by sudden sight of this fair spot, 
On which " improvement" yet has made no blot, 
But Nature all-astonished stands, to find 
Her plan protected by the human mind. 

Blest be the kindly genius of the scene ; 

The river, bending in unbroken grace, 
The stately thickets, with their pathways green, 

Fair lonely trees, each in its fittest place. 
Those thickets haunted by the deer and fawn ; 
Those cloudlike flights of birds across the lawn; 
The gentlest breezes here delight to blow, 
And sun and shower and star are emulous to deck the 

Wondering, as Crusoe, we survey the land ; 
Happier than Crusoe we, a friendly band ; 
Blest be the hand that reared this friendly home, 
The heart and mind of him to whom we owe 
Hours of pure peace such as few mortals know ; 
May he find such, should he be led to roam ; 


Be tended by such ministering sprites — 

Enjoy such gaily childish days, Buch hopeful nights! 

And yet, amid the goods to mortals ^iven, 
To five those goods again is most Like heaven. 

■uahraod, Rock River, June 3Ctli, IS43. 

The only really rustic feature was of the many 
coops of poultry near the house, which I understood 
it to be one of the chief pleasures of the master to 

Leaving this place, we proceeded a day's journey 
alone; the beautiful stream, to a little town named 
Oregon. We called at a cabin, from whose door 
looked out one of those faces which, once seen, are 
never forgotten; young, yet touched with many 
traces of feeling, not only possible, but endured ; 
spirited, too, like the gleam of a finely tempered 
blade. It was a lace that suggested a history, and 
many histories, but whose scene would have been in 
courts and camps. At this moment their circles are 
dull for want of that life which is waning unexcited 
in this solitary recess. 

The master of the house proposed to show us a 
" short cut," by which we might, to especial advan- 
tage, pursue our journey. This proved to be almost 
perpendicular down a hill, studded with young treea 
and stumps. From these he proposed, with a hospi- 
tality of service worthy an Oriental, to free our wheels 
whenever they should get entangled, also, to be 
himself the drag, to prevent our too rapid descent. 
Such generosity deserved trust ; however, we women 
could not be persuaded to render it. We got out 


and admired, from afar, the process. Left by our 
guide — and prop ! we found ourselves in a wide 
field, where, by playful quips and turns, an end- 
less "creek," seemed to divert itself with our at- 
tempts to cross it. Failing in this, the next best was 
to whirl down a steep bank, which feat our charioteer 
performed with an air not unlike that of Rhesus, had 
he but been as suitably furnished with chariot and 
steeds ! 

At last, after wasting some two or three hours on 
the " short cut," we got out by following an Indian 
trail, — Black Hawk's ! How fair the scene through 
which it led ! How could they let themselves be 
conquered, with such a country to fight for 1 

Afterwards, in the wide prairie, we saw a lively 
picture of nonchalance, (to speak in the fashion of 
dear Ireland.) There, in the wide sunny field, with 
neither tree nor umbrella above his head, sat a ped- 
ler, with his pack, waiting apparently for customers. 
He was not disappointed. We bought, what hold in 
regard to the human world, as unmarked, as mysteri- 
ous, and as important an existence, as the infusoria 
to the natural, to wit, pins. This incident would 
have delighted those modern sages, who, in imitation 
of the sitting philosophers of ancient Ind, prefer 
silence to speech, waiting to going, and scornfully 
smile in answer to the motions of earnest life, 

" Of itself will nothing come, 
That ye must still be seeking? " 

However, it seemed to me to-day, as formerly on 
these sublime occasions, obvious that nothing would 


come, unless something would go ; now, if we had 
been as sublimely still as the pedler, his pins would 
have tarried in the pack, and his pockets sustained 
an aching void of pence ! 

Passing through one of the fine, park-like woods, 
almost clear from underbrush and carpeted with 
thick grasses and flowers, we met, (for it was Sun- 
day,) a little congregation just returning from their 
service, which had been performed in a rude house 
in its midst. It had a sweet and peaceful air, as if 
such words and thoughts were very dear to them. 
The parents had with them all their little children ; 
but we saw no old people ; that charm was wanting, 
which exists in such scenes in older settlements, of 
seeing the silver bent in reverence beside the flaxen 

At Oregon, the beauty of the scene was of even 
a more sumptuous character than at our former 
" stopping place." Here swelled the river in its 
boldest course, interspersed by halcyon isles on which 
nature had lavished all her prodigality in tree, vine, 
and flower, banked by noble bluffs, three hundred 
feet high, their sharp ridges as exquisitely definite as 
the edge of a shell ; their summits adorned with 
those same beautiful trees, and with buttresses of rich 
rock, crested with old hemlocks, which wore a touch- 
ing and antique grace amid the softer and more lux- 
uriant vegetation. Lofty natural mounds rose amidst 
the rest, with the same lovely and sweeping outline, 
showing everywhere the plastic power of water, — 
water, mother of beauty, which, by its sweet and 
eager flow, had left such lineaments as human genius 
never dreamt of. 


Not far from the river was a high crag, called the 
Pine Rock, which looks out, as our guide observed, 
like a helmet above the brow of the country. It 
seems as if the water left here and there a vestige of 
forms and materials that preceded its course, just to 
set off its new and richer designs. 

The aspect of this country was to me enchanting, 
beyond any I have ever seen, from its fullness of ex- 
pression, its bold and impassioned sweetness. Here 
the flood of emotion has passed over and marked 
everywhere its course by a smile. The fragments of 
rock touch it with a wildness and liberality which 
give just the needed relief. I should never be tired 
here, though I have elsewhere seen country of more 
secret and alluring charms, better calculated to stim- 
ulate and suggest. Here the eye and heart are filled. 

How happy the Indians must have been here ! It 
is not long since they were driven away, and the 
ground, above and below, is full of their traces. 

" The earth is full of men. " 

You have only to turn up the sod to find arrow- 
heads and Indian pottery. On an island, belonging 
to our host, and nearly opposite his house, they loved 
to stay, and, no doubt, enjoyed its lavish beauty as 
much as the myriad wild pigeons that now haunt its 
flower-filled shades. Here are still the marks of their 
tomahawks, the troughs in which they prepared their 
corn, their caches. 

A little way down the river is the site of an ancient 
Indian village, with its regularly arranged mounds. 
As usual, they had chosen with the finest taste. It 


was one of those soft shadowy afternoons when we 
went there, when nature seems ready to weep, not 
from grief, but from an overfull heart. Two prat- 
tli-nir, lovely little girls, and an African boy, with glit- 
tering eye and ready grin, made our party gay ; but 
all were still as we entered their little inlet and trod 
those flowery paths. They may blacken Indian life 
as they will, talk of its dirt, its brutality, I will ever 
believe that the men who chose that dwelling-place 
were able to feel emotions of noble happiness as they 
returned to it, and so were the women that received 
them. Neither were the children sad or dull, who 
lived so familiarly with the deer and the birds, and 
swam that clear wave in the shadow of the Seven 
Sisters. The whole scene suggested to me a Greek 
splendor, a Greek sweetness, and I can believe that 
an Indian brave, accustomed to ramble in such paths, 
and be bathed by such sunbeams, might be mistaken 
for Apollo, as Apollo was for him by West. Two of 
the boldest bluffs are called the Deer's Walk, (not be- 
cause deer do not walk there,) and the Eagle's Nest 
The latter I visited one glorious morning ; it was 
that of the fourth of July, and certainly I think I had 
never felt so happy that I was born in America. Wo 
to all country folks that never saw this spot, nev. r 
swept an enraptured gaze over the prospect that 
stretched beneath. I do believe Rome and Florence 
are suburbs compared to this capital of nature's art. 

The bluff* was decked with great bunches of a 
scarlet variety of the milkweed, like cut coral, and 
all starred with a mysterious-looking dark flower, 
whose cup rose lonely on a tall stem. This had, for 



two or three days, disputed the ground with the lu- 
pine and phlox. My companions disliked, I liked it. 
Here I thought of, or rather saw, what the Greek 
expresses under the form of Jove's darling, Gany- 
mede, and the following stanzas took form. 



Composed on the height called the Eagle's Nest, Oregon, Rock River, 

July 4th, 1843. 

Upon the rocky mountain stood the boy, 

A goblet of pure water in his hand, 
His face and form spoke him one made for joy, 

A willing servant to sweet love's command, 
But a strange pain was written on his brow, 
And thrilled throughout his silver accents now — 

" My bird," he cries, " my destined brother friend, 

O whither fleets to-day thy wayward flight? 
Hast thou forgotten that I here attend, 

From the full noon until this sad twilight? 
A hundred times, at least, from the clear spring, 

Since the full noon o'er hill and valley glowed, 
I 've filled the vase which our Olympian king 

Upon my care for thy sole use bestowed ; 
That at the moment when thou should' st descend, 
A pure refreshment might thy thirst attend. 

Hast thou forgotten earth, forgotten me, 

Thy fellow bondsman in a royal cause, 
Who, from the sadness of infinity, 

Only with thee can know that peaceful pause 
In which we catch the flowing strain of love, 
Which binds our dim fates to the throne of Jove ? 

GANYMEDE. .").") 

Before I saw thee, I was like the May, 

Loncrinor for summer that must mar its bloom, 
Or like the morning star that calls the day. 

Whose glories to its promise are the tomb; 
And as the eager fountain rises higher 

To throw itself more strongly back to earth, 
Still, as more sweet and full rose my desire, 

More fondly it reverted to its birth, 
For, what the rosebud seeks tells not the rose, 
The meaning foretold by the boy the man cannot disclose. 

I was all Spring, for in my being dwelt 
Eternal youth, where flowers are the fruit, 

Full feeling was the thought of what was felt, 
Its music was the meaning of the lute ; 

But heaven and earth such life will still deny, 

For earth, divorced from heaven, still asks the question 

Upon the highest mountains my young feet 

Ached, that no pinions from their lightness grew, 
My starlike eyes the stars would fondly greet, 

Yet win no greeting from the circling blue; 
Fair, self-subsistent each in its own sphere, 

They had no care that there was none for me; 
Alike to them that I was far or near, 

Alike to them, time and eternity. 

But, from the violet of lower air, 

Sometimes an answer to my wishing came, 
Those lightning births mv nature seemed to share, 

They told the secrets of its fiery frame, 
The sudden messengers of hate and love, 
The thunderbolts that arm the hand of Jove, 
And strike sometimes the sacred spire, and strike the 
sacred grove. 


Come in a moment, in a moment gone, 
They answered me, then left me still more lone,. . 
They told me that the thought which ruled the world, 
As yet no sa \upon its course had furled, 
That the creacio'n was but just begun, 
New leaves still leaving from the primal one, 
But spoke not of the goal to which my rapid wheels 
would run. 

Still, still my eyes, though tearfully, I strained 
To the far future which my heart contained, 
And no dull doubt my proper hope profaned. 

At last, O bliss, thy living form I spied, 

Then a mere speck upon a distant sky, 
Yet my keen glance discerned its noble pride, 

And the full answer, of that sun-filled eye; 
I knew it was the wing that must upbear 
My earthlier form into the realms of air. 

Thou knowest how we gained that beauteous height, 

Where dwells the monarch of the sons of light, 

Thou knowest he declared us two to be 

The chosen servants of his ministry, 

Thou as his messenger, a sacred sign 

Of conquest, or with omen more benign, 

To give its due weight to the righteous cause, 

To express the verdict of Olympian laws. 

And I to wait upon the lonely spring, 

Which slakes the thirst of bards to whom 'tis given 
The destined dues of hopes divine to sing, 

And weave the needed chain to bind to heaven. 
Only from such could be obtained a draught 
For him who in his early home from Jove's own cup has 


To wait, to wait, but not to wait too long, 

Till heavy grows the burthen of a song; 

O bird ! too long hast thou been gone to-day, 

My feet are weary of their frequent way, 

The spell that opes the spring my tongue no more can say. 

If soon thou com'st not, night will fall around, 
My head with a sad slumber will be bound, 
And the pure draught be spilt upon the ground. 

Remember that I am not yet divine, 
Long years of service to the fatal Nine 
Are yet to make a Delphian vigor mine. 

O, make them not too hard, thou bird of Jove, 
Answer the stripling's hope, confirm his love, 
Receive the service in which he delights, 
And bear him often to the serene heights, 
Where hands that were so prompt in serving thee, 
Shall be allowed the highest mini-try, 
And Rapture live with bright Fidelity. 

The afternoon was spent in a very different man- 
ner. The family, whose guests we were, possessed 
a gay and graceful hospitality that gave zest to each 
moment. They possessed that rare politeness which, 
while fertile in pleasant expedients to vary the enjoy- 
ment of a friend, leaves him perfectly free the mo- 
ment he wishes to be so. With such hosts, pleas- 
ure may be combined with repose. They lived on 
the bank opposite the town, and, as their house was 
full, we slept in the town, and passed three days 
with them, passing to and fro morning and evening 
in their boats. (To one of these, called the Fairy, 
in which a sweet little daughter of the house moved 


about lighter than any Scotch Ellen ever sung, I should 
indite a poem, if I had not been guilty of rhyme on 
the very last page.) At morning this was very pleas- 
ant ; at evening, I confess I was generally too tired 
with the excitements of the day to think it so. 

Their house — a double log cabin — was, to my 
eye, the model of a Western villa. Nature had laid 
out before it grounds which could not be improved. 
Within, female taste had veiled every rudeness — 
availed itself of every sylvan grace. 

In this charming abode what laughter, what sweet 
thoughts, what pleasing fancies, did we not enjoy ! 
May such never desert those who reared it and made 
us so kindly welcome to all its pleasures ! 

Fragments of city life were dexterously crumbled 
into the dish prepared for general entertainment. 
Ice creams followed the dinner drawn by the gentle- 
men from the river, and music and fireworks wound 
up the evening of days spent on the Eagle's Nest. 
Now they had prepared a little fleet to pass over 
to the Fourth of July celebration, which some queer 
drumming and fifing, from the opposite bank, had an- 
nounced to be " on hand." 

We found the free and independent citizens there 
collected beneath the trees, among whom many a 
round Irish visage dimpled at the usual puffs of 

The orator was a New Englander, and the speech 
smacked loudly of Boston, but was received with 
much applause, and followed by a plentiful dinner, 
provided by and for the Sovereign People, to which 
Hail Columbia served as grace. 


Returning, the gay flotilla hailed the little flag 
which the children had raised from a log-cabin, pret- 
tier than any president ever saw, and drank the 
health of their country and all mankind, with a clear 

Dance and song wound up the day. I know not 
when the mere local habitation has seemed to me to 
afford so fair a chance of happiness as this. To a 
person of unspoiled tastes, the beauty alone would 
afford stimulus enough. But with it would be nat- 
urally associated all kinds of wild sports, experiments, 
and the studies of natural history. In these regards, 
the poet, the sportsman, the naturalist, would alike 
rejoice in this wide range of untouched loveliness. 

Then, with a very little money, a ducal estate may 
be purchased, and by a very little more, and moder- 
ate labor, a family be maintained upon it with rai- 
ment, food and shelter. The luxurious and minute 
comforts of a city life are not yet to be had without 
effort disproportionate to their value. But, where 
there is so great a counterpoise, cannot these be given 
up once for all ? If the houses are imperfectly built, 
they can afford immense fires and plenty of cover- 
ing ; if they are small, who cares ? — with such 
fields to roam in. In winter, it may be borne ; in 
summer, is of no consequence. With plenty of fish, 
and game, and wheat, can they not dispense with 
a baker to bring " muffins hot " every morning to the 
door for their breakfast? 

Here a man need not take a small slice from the 
landscape, and fence it in from the obtrusions of an 
uncongenial neighbor, and there cut down his fancies 


to miniature improvements which a chicken could 
run over in ten minutes. He may have water and 
wood and land enough, to dread no incursions on his 
prospect from some chance Vandal that may enter 
his neighborhood. He need not painfully economise 
and manage how he may use it all ; he can afford to 
leave some of it wild, and to carry out his own plans 
without obliterating those of nature. 

Here, whole families might live together, if they 
would. The sons might return from their pilgrim- 
ages to settle near the parent hearth ; the daughters 
might find room near their mother. Those painful 
separations, which already desecrate and desolate the 
Atlantic coast, are not enforced here by the stern 
need of seeking bread ; and where they are volun- 
tary, it is no matter. To me, too, used to the feel- 
ings which haunt a society of struggling men, it was 
delightful to look upon a scene where nature still 
wore her motherly smile and seemed to promise room 
not only for those favored or cursed with the qualities 
best adapting for the strifes of competition, but for 
the delicate, the thoughtful, even the indolent or ec- 
centric. She did not say, Fight or starve ; nor even, 
Work or cease to exist ; but, merely showing that the 
apple was a finer fruit than the wild crab, gave both 
room to grow in the garden. 

A pleasant society is formed of the families who 
live along the banks of this stream upon farms. 
They are from various parts of the world, and have 
much to communicate to one another. Many have 
cultivated minds and refined manners, all a varied 
experience, while they have in common the interests 


of a new country and a new life. They must trav- 
erse some space to get at one another, but the journey 
is through scenes that make it a separate pleasure. 
They must bear inconveniences to stay in one an- 
other's houses ; but these, to the well-disposed, are 
only a source of amusement and adventure. 

The great drawback upon the lives of these set- 
tlers, at present, is the unfitness of the women for 
their new lot. It has generally been the choice of 
the men, and the women follow, as women will, doing 
their best for affection's sake, but too often in heart- 
sickness and weariness. Beside it frequently not be- 
ing a choice or conviction of their own minds that 
it is best to be here, their part is the hardest, and 
they are least fitted for it. The men can find assist- 
ance in field labor, and recreation with the gun and 
fishing-rod. Their bodily strength is greater, and 
enables them to bear and enjoy both these forms of 

The women can rarely find any aid in domestic 
labor. All its various and careful tasks must often 
be performed, sick or well, by the mother and daugh- 
ters, to whom a city education has imparted neither 
the strength nor skill now demanded. 

The wives of the poorer settlers, having more hard 
work to do than before, very frequently become slat- 
terns ; but the ladies, accustomed to a refined neat- 
ness, feel that they cannot degrade themselves by its 
absence, and struggle under every disadvantage to 
keep up the necessary routine of small arrangements. 

With all these disadvantages for work, their re- 
sources for pleasure arc fewer. When they can leave 


the housework, they have not learnt to ride, to drive, 
to row, alone. Their culture has too generally been 
that given to women to make them " the ornaments of 
society." They can dance, but not draw ; talk French, 
but know nothing of the language of flowers ; neither 
in childhood were allowed to cultivate them, lest they 
should tan their complexions. Accustomed to the 
pavement of Broadway, they dare not tread the wild- 
wood paths for fear of rattlesnakes ! 

Seeing much of this joylessness, and inaptitude, 
both of body and mind, for a lot which would be full 
of blessings for those prepared for it, we could not 
but look with deep interest on the little girls, and 
hope they would grow up with the strength of body, 
dexterity, simple tastes, and resources that would fit 
them to enjoy and refine the western farmer's life. 

But they have a great deal to war with in the 
habits of thought acquired by their mothers from 
their own early life. Everywhere the fatal spirit of 
imitation, of reference to European standards, pene- 
trates, and threatens to blight whatever of original 
growth might adorn the soil. 

If the little girls grow up strong, resolute, able to 
exert their faculties, their mothers mourn over their 
want of fashionable delicacy. Are they gay, enter- 
prising, ready to fly about in the various ways that 
teach them so much, these ladies lament that " they 
cannot go to school, where they might learn to be 
quiet." They lament the want of " education ' for 
their daughters, as if the thousand needs which call 
out their young energies, and the language of nature 
around, yielded no education. 


Their grand ambition for their children, is to send 
them to school in some eastern city, the measure 
most likely to make them useless and unhappy at 
home. I earnestly hope that, ere long, the existence 
of good schools near themselves, planned by persona 
of sufficient thought to meet the wants of the place 
and time, instead of copying New York or Boston, 
will correct this mania. Instruction the children 
want to enable them to profit by the great natural 
advantages of their position ; but methods copied from 
the education of some English Lady Augusta, are as 
ill suited to the daughter of an Illinois farmer, as 
satin shoes to climb the Indian mounds. An ele- 
gance she would diffuse around her, if her mind 
were opened to appreciate elegance ; it might be of 
a kind new, original, enchanting, as different from 
that of the city belle as that of the prairie torch- 
fiovver from the shopworn article that touches the 
cheek of that lady within her bonnet. 

To a girl really skilled to make home beautiful and 
comfortable, with bodily strength to enjoy plenty of 
exercise, the woods, the streams, a few studies, mu- 
sic, and the sincere and familiar intercourse, far more 
easily to be met here than elsewhere, would afford 
happiness enough. Her eyes would not grow dim, 
nor her cheeks sunken, in the absence of parties, 
morning visits, and milliner's shops. 

As to music, I wish I could see in such places the 
guitar rather than the piano, and good vocal more 
than instrumental music. 

The piano many carry with them, because it is the 
fashionable instrument in the eastern cities. Even 


there, it is so merely from the habit of imitating Eu- 
rope, for not one in a thousand, is willing to give the 
labor requisite to ensure any valuable use of the 

But, out here, where the ladies have so much less 
leisure, it is still less desirable. Add to this, they 
never know how to tune their own instruments, and 
as persons seldom visit them who can do so, these 
pianos are constantly out of tune, and would spoil 
the ear of one who began by having any. 

The guitar, or some portable instrument which 
requires less practice, and could be kept in tune by 
themselves, would be far more desirable for most of 
these ladies. It would give all they want as a house- 
hold companion to fill up the gaps of life with a 
pleasant stimulus or solace, and be sufficient accom- 
paniment to the voice in social meetings. 

Singing in parts is the most delightful family 
amusement, and those who are constantly together 
can learn to sing in perfect accord. All the practice 
it needs, after some good elementary instruction, is 
such as meetings by summer twilight, and evening 
firelight naturally suggest. And, as music is an 
universal language, we cannot but think a fine Italian 
duet would be as much at home in the log cabin as 
one of Mrs. Gore's novels. 

The sixth July we left this beautiful place. It 
was one of those rich days of bright sunlight, varied 
by the purple shadows of large sweeping clouds* 
Many a backward look we cast, and left the heart 

Our journey to-day was no less delightful than 


before, still all new, boundless, limitless. Kinmont 
says, that limits are sacred ; that the Greeks were 
in the right to worship a god of limits. I say, that 
what is limitless is alone divine, that there was nei- 
ther wall nor road in Eden, that those who walked 
there lost and found their way just as we did, and 
that all the gain from the Fall was that we had 
a wagon to ride in. I do not think, either, that 
even the horses doubted whether this last was any 

Everywhere the rattlesnake-weed grows in profu- 
sion. The antidote survives the bane. Soon the 
coarser plantain, the " white man's footstep," shall 
take its place. 

We saw also the compass plant, and the western 
tea plant. Of some of the brightest flowers an 
Indian girl afterwards told me the medicinal virtues. 
I doubt not those students of the soil knew a use to 
every fair emblem, on which we could only look to 
admire its hues and shape. 

After noon we were ferried by a girl, (unfortu- 
nately not of the most picturesque appearance) across 
the Kishwaukie, the most graceful stream, and on 
whose bosom rested many full-blown water-lilies, 
twice as large as any of ours. I was told that, en 
revanche, they were scentless, but I still regret that 
I could not get at one of them to try. 

Query, did the lilied fragrance which, in the 
miraculous times, accompanied visions of saints and 
angels, proceed from water or garden lilies ? 

Kishwaukie is, according to tradition, the scene of 
a famous battle, and its many grassy mounds con- 



tain the bones of the valiant. On these waved 
thickly the mysterious purple flower, of which I have 
spoken before. I think it springs from the blood of 
the Indians, as the hyacinth did from that of Apollo's 

The ladies of our host's family at Oregon, when 
they first went there, after all the pains and plagues 
of building and settling, found their first pastime in 
opening one of these mounds, in which they found, 
I think, three of the departed, seated in the Indian 

One of these same ladies, as she was making 
bread one winter morning, saw from the window a 
deer directly before the house. She ran out, with 
her hands covered with dough, calling the others, 
and they caught him bodily before he had time to 
escape. . 

Here (at Kishwaukie) we received a visit from a 
ragged and barefoot, but bright-eyed gentleman, 
who seemed to be the intellectual loafer, the walking 
Will's coffeehouse of the place. He told us many 
charming snake stories ; among others, of himself 
having seen seventeen young ones reenter the mother 
snake, on the intrusion of a visiter. 

This night we reached Belvidere, a flourishing 
town in Boon county, where was the tomb, now 
despoiled, of Big Thunder. In this later day we felt 
happy to find a really good hotel. 

From this place, by two days of very leisurely and 
devious journeying, we reached Chicago, and thus 
ended a journey, which one at least of the party 
might have wished unending. 


I have not been particularly anxious to give the 
geography of the scene, inasmuch as it seemed to me 
no route, nor series of stations, but a garden inter- 
spersed with cottages" groves and flowery lawns, 
through which a stately river ran. I had no guide- 
book, kept no diary, do not know how many miles 
we travelled each day, nor how many in all. What 
I got from the journey was the poetic impression of 
the country at large ; it is all I have aimed to com- 

The narrative might have been made much more 
interesting, as life was at the time, by many piquant 
anecdotes and tales drawn from private life. But 
here courtesy restrains the pen,- for I know those 
who received the stranger with such frank kindness 
would feel ill requited by its becoming the means of 
fixing many spy-glasses, even though the scrutiny 
might be one of admiring interest, upon their private 

For many of these, too, I was indebted to a friend, 
whose property they more lawfully are. This friend 
was one of those rare beings who are equally at home 
in nature and with man. He knew a tale of all that 
ran and swam, and flew, or only grew, possessing 
that extensive familiarity with things which shows 
equal sweetness of sympathy and playful penetration. 
Most refreshing to me was his unstudied lore, the un- 
written poetry which common life presents to a strong 
and gentle mind. It was a great contrast to the 
subtleties of analysis, the philosophic strainings of 
which I had seen too much. But I will not attempt 
to transplant it. May it profit others as it did me in 


the region where it was born, where it belongs. The 
evening of our return to Chicago the sunset was of a 
splendor and calmness beyond any we saw at the 
West. The twilight that succeeded was equally 
beautiful ; soft, pathetic, but just so calm. When af- 
terwards I learned this was the evening of Allston's 
death, it seemed to me as if this glorious pageant was 
not without connection with that event ; at least, it 
inspired similar emotions, — a heavenly gate closing 
a path adorned with shows well worthy Paradise. 

Farewell, ye soft and sumptuous solitudes ! 

Ye fairy distances, ye lordly woods, 

Haunted by paths like those that Poussin knew, 

When after his all gazers eyes he drew ; 

I go, — and if I never more may steep 

An eager heart in your enchantments deep, 

Yet ever to itself that heart may say, 

Be not exacting ; thou hast lived one day ; 

Hast looked on that which matches with thy mood, 

Impassioned sweetness of full being's flood, 

Where nothing checked the bold yet gentle wave, 

Where nought repelled the lavish love that gave. 

A tender blessing lingers o'er the scene, 

Like some young mother's thought, fond, yet serene, 

And through its life new-born our lives have been. 

Once more farewell, — a sad, a sweet farewell ; 

And, if I never must behold you more, 

In other worlds I will not cease to tell 

The rosary I here have numbered o'er ; 


And bright-haired Hope will lend a gladdened ear, 
And Love will free him from the grasp of Fear, 
And Gorgon critics, while the tale they hear, 
Shall dew their stony glances with a tear, 
If I but catch one echo from your spell ; — 
And so farewell, — a grateful, sad farewell ! 



Chicago had become interesting to me now, that I 
knew it as the portal to so fair a scene. I had be- 
come interested in the land, in the people, and looked 
sorrowfully on the lake on which I must soon em- 
bark, to leave behind what I had just begun to 

Now was the time to see the lake. The July 
moon was near its full, and night after night it rose 
in a cloudless sky above this majestic sea. The heat 
was excessive, so that there was no enjoyment of life, 
except in the night, but then the air was of that de- 
licious temperature, worthy of orange groves. How- 
ever, they were not wanted ; — nothing was, as that 
full light fell on the faintly rippling waters which then 
seemed boundless. 

A poem received shortly after, from a friend in 
Massachusetts, seemed to say that the July moon 
shone there not less splendid, and may claim inser- 
tion here. 



So pure her forehead's dazzling white, 

So swift and clear her radiant eves, 
Within the treasure of whose licrht 

Lay undeveloped destinies, — 
Of thoughts repressed such hidden st^re 

Was hinted by each flitting smile, 
I could but wonder and adore, 

Far off, in awe, I gazed the while. 

I gazed at her, as at the moon, 

Hanging in lustrous twilight skies, 

Whose virgin crescent, sinking soon, 
Peeps through the leaves before it flies. 

Untouched Diana, flitting dim, 

While sings the wood its evening hymn. 


Again we met. O joyful meeting ! 

Her radiance now was all for me, 
Like kindly airs her kindly greeting, 

So full, so musical, so free. 
Within romantic forest aisles, 

Within romantic paths we walked, 
I bathed me in her sister smiles, 

I breathed her beauty as we talked. 

So full-orbed Cynthia walks the skies, 
Fillino- the earth with melodies, 

Even so she condescends to kiss 

Drowsy Endymions, coarse and dull, 

Or fills our waking souls with bliss, 
Making long nights too beautiful. 



O fair, but fickle lady-moon, 

Why must thy full form ever wane 1 

love ! O friendship ! why so soon 
Must your sweet light recede again ? 

1 wake me in the dead of night, 

And start, — for through the misty gloom 
Red Hecate stares — a boding sight ! — 
Looks in, but never fills my room. 

Thou music of my boyhood's hour ! 

Thou shining light on manhood's way ! 
No more dost thou fair influence shower 

To move my soul by night or day. 
O strange ! that while in hall and street 

Thy hand I touch, thy grace I meet, 
Such miles of polar ice should part 

The slightest touch of mind and heart ! 
But all thy love has waned, and so 

I gladly let thy beauty go. 

Now that I am borrowing, I will also give a letter 
received at this time, and extracts from others from 
an earlier traveller, and in a different region of the 
country from that I saw, which, I think, in different 
ways, admirably descriptive of the country. 

" And you, too, love the Prairies, flying voyager of 
a summer hour ; but I have only there owned the 
wild forest, the wide-spread meadows ; there only 
built my house, and seen the livelong day the thought- 
ful shadows of the great clouds color, with all-tran- 
sient browns, the untrampled floor of grass ; there 
has Spring pranked the long smooth reaches with 


those golden flowers, whereby became the fields a 
sea too golden to o'erlast the heats. Yes ! and with 
many a yellow bell she gilded our unbounded path, 
that sank in the light swills of the varied surface, 
skirted the un tilled barrens, nor shunned the steep 
banks of rivers darting merrily on. There has th< 
white snow frolicsomely strown itself, till all tl. at vast, 
outstretched distance glittered like a mirror in which 
only the heavens were reflected, and among these 
drifts our steps have been curbed. Ah ! many days 
of precious weather are on the Prairies ! 

" You have then found, after many a weary hour, 
when Time has locked your temples as in a circle of 
heated metal, some cool, sweet, swift-gliding mo- 
ments, the iron ring of necessity ungirt, and the 
fevered pulses at rest. You have also found this 
where fresh nature suffers no ravage, amid those bow- 
ers of wild-wood, those dream-like, bee-sung, mur- 
muring and musical plains, swimming under their 
hazy distances, as if there, in that warm and deep 
back ground, stood the fairy castle of our hopes, with 
its fountains, its pictures, its many mystical figures in 
repose. Ever could we rove over those sunny dis- 
tances, breathing that modulated wind, eyeing those 
so well-blended, imaginative, yet thoughtful surfan 
and above us wide — wide a horizon effortless and 
superb as a young divinity. 

"I was a prisoner where you glide, the summer's 
pensioned guest, and my chains were the past and 
the future, darkness and blowing sand. Then . \<ry 
weary, I received from the distance a sweet emblem 
of an incorruptible, lofty and pervasive nature, but 


was I less weary ? I was a prisoner, and you, plains, 
were my prison bars. 

" Yet never, O never, beautiful plains, had I any 
feeling for you but profoundest gratitude, for indeed 
ye are only fair, grand and majestic, while I had 
scarcely a right there. Now, ye stand in that past 
day, grateful images of unshattered repose, simple in 
your tranquillity, strong in your self-possession, yet 
ever musical and springing as the footsteps of a child. 

" Ah ! that to some poet, whose lyre had never 
lost a string, to whom mortality, kinder than is her 
custom, had vouchsafed a day whose down had been 
untouched, — that to him these plains might enter, 
and flow forth in airy song. And you, forests, under 
whose symmetrical shields of dark green the colors of 
the fawns move, like the waters of the river under 
its spears, — its cimeters of flag, where, in gleaming 
circles of steel, the breasts of the wood-pigeons flash 
in the playful sunbeam, and many sounds, many notes 
of no earthly music, come over the well-relieved 
glades, — should not your depth pass into that 
poet's heart, — in your depths should he not fuse his 
own ? " 

The other letters show the painter's eye, as this 
the poet's heart. 

" Springfield, Illinois, May 20, 1S40. 

" Yesterday morning I left Griggsville, my knap- 
sack at my back, pursued my journey all day on foot, 
and found so new and great delight in this charming 
country, that I must needs tell you about it. Do 
you remember our saying once, that we never found 


the trees tall enough, the fields green enough. Well, 
the trees are for once tall, and fair to look upon, and 
one unvarying carpet of the tenderest green covers 
these marvellous fields, that spread out their smooth 
sod for miles and miles, till they even reach the 
horizon. But, to begin my day's journey. Griggs- 
ville is situated on the west side of the Illinois 
river, on a high prairie; between it and the river is a 
long range of bluffs which reaches a hundred miles 
north and south, then a wide river bottom, and then 
the river. It was a mild, showery morning, and I 
directed my steps toward the bluffs. They are 
covered with forest, not like our forests, tangled and 
impassable, but where the trees stand fair and apart 
from one another, so that you might ride every 
where about on horseback, and the tops of the hills 
are generally bald, and covered with green turf, like 
our pastures. Indeed, the whole country reminds 
me perpetually of one that has been carefully culti- 
vated by a civilized people, who had been suddenly 
removed from the earth, with all the works of their 
hands, and the land given again into nature's keep- 
ing. The solitudes are not savage ; they have not 
that dreary, stony loneliness that used to affect me 
in our own country ; they never repel ; there are no 
londv heights, no isolated spots, but all is gentle, 
mild, inviting, — all is accessible. In following this 
winding, hilly road for four or five miles, I think I 
counted at least a dozen new kinds of wild flowers, 
not timid, retiring little plants like ours, but bold 
flowers of rich colors, covering the ground in abun- 
dance. One very common flower resembles our car- 


dinal flower, though not of so deep a color, another 
is very like rocket or phlox, but smaller and of va- 
rious colors, white, blue and purple. Beautiful white 
lupines I find too, violets white and purple. The 
vines and parasites are magnificent. I followed on 
this road till I came to the prairie which skirts the 
river, and tins, of all the beauties of this region, is 
the most peculiar and wonderful. Imagine a vast 
and gently-swelling pasture of the brightest green 
grass, stretching away from you on every side, be- 
hind, toward these hills I have described, in all other 
directions, to a belt of tall trees, all growing up with 
noble proportions, from the generous soil. It is an 
unimagined picture of abundance and peace. Some- 
where about, you are sure to see a huge herd of 
cattle, often white, and generally brightly marked, 
grazing. All looks like the work of man's hand, but 
you see no vestige of man, save perhaps an almost 
imperceptible hut on the edge of the prairie. Reach- 
ing the river, I ferried myself across, and then crossed 
over to take the Jacksonville railroad, but, finding 
there was no train, passed the night at a farm house. 
And here may find its place this converse between 
the solitary old man and the young traveller. 


My son, with weariness thou seemest spent, 

And toiling on the dusty road all day, 

Weary and pale, yet with inconstant step, 

Hither and thither turning, — seekest thou 

To find aught lost, or what dark care pursues thee I 

If thou art weary, rest, if hungry, eat. 

evening thoughts. 77 


Oil rather, father, let me ask of thee 

What is it I do seek, what thing I lack ? 

These many days I've left my lather's hall, 

Forth driven by insatiable desire, 

That, like the wind, now gently murmuring, 

Enticed me forward with its own sweet voice 

Through many-leaved woods, and valleys deep, 

Yet ever lied before me. Then with sound 

Stronger than hurrying tempest, seizing me, 

Forced me to fly its power. Forward still, 

Bound by enchanted ties, i seek its source. 

Sometimes it is a something I have lost, 

Known long since, before I bent my steps 

Toward this beautiful broad plane of earth. 

Sometimes it is a spirit yet unknown, 

In whose dim-imaged features seem to smile 

The dear delight of these high-mansioned thoughts, 

That sometimes visit me. Like unto mine 

Her lineaments appear, but beautiful, 

As of a sister in a far-off world, 

Waiting to welcome me. And when I think . 

To reach and clasp the figure, it is gone, 

And some ill-omened ghastly vision comes 

To bid beware, and not too curiously 

Demand the secrets of that distant world, 

Whose shadow haunts me. — On the waves below 

But now I o-nzed, warmed with the setting sun, 

Who Bent his golden streamers to my feet, 

It seemed a pathway to a world beyond, 

And I looked round, if that my spirit beckoned 

That I might follow it. 

Dreams all, my son. Yes, even so I dreamed, 



And even so was thwarted. You must learn 
To dream another long and troublous dream, 
The dream of life. And you shall think you wake, 
And think the shadows substance, love and hate, 
Exchange and barter, joy, and weep, and dance. 
And this too shall be dream. 


Oh who can say 

Where lies the boundary ? What solid things 

That daily mock our senses, shall dissolve 

Before the might within, while shadowy forms 

Freeze into stark reality, defying 

The force and will of man. These forms I see, 

They may go with me through eternity, 

And bless or curse with ceaseless company, 

While yonder man, that I met yesternight, 

Where is he now ? He passed before my eyes, 

He is gone, but these stay with me ever. 

That night the young man rested with the old, 

And, grave or gay, in laughter or in tears, 

They wore the. night in converse. Morning came, 

The dreamer took his solitary way ; 

And, as he pressed the old man's hand, he sighed, 

Must this too be a dream 1 

Afterwards, of the rolling prairie. " There was 
one of twenty miles in extent, not flat, but high and 
rolling, so that when you arrived at a high part, by- 
gentle ascents, the view was beyond measure grand ; 
as far as the eye could reach, nothing but the green, 
rolling plain, and at a vast distance, groves, all look- 
ing gentle and cultivated, yet all uninhabited. I 


think it would impress you, as it does me, that these 
scenes are truly sublime. I have a sensation of vast- 
ness which I have sought in vain among high moun- 
tains. Mountains crowd one sensation on another, 
till all is excitement, all is surprise, wonder, enchant- 
ment. Here is neither enchantment or disappoint- 
ment, but expectation fully realized. I have always 
had an attachment for a plain. The Roman Cam- 
pagna is a prairie. Peoria is in a most lovely situa- 
tion. In fact I am so delighted that I am as full 
of superlatives as the Italian language. I could, 
however, find fault enough, if you ask what I dis- 

But no one did ask ; it is not worth while where 
there is so much to admire. Yet the following is 
a good statement of the shadow side. 

" As to the boasts about the rapid progress here, 
give me rather the linn fibre of a slow and knotty 
growth. I could not help thinking as much when I 
was talking to E. the other day, whom I met on 
board the boat. He quarrelled with Boston for its 
slowness ; said it was a bad place for a young man. 
He could not make himself felt, could not see the 
effects of his exertions as he could here. — To be 
sure he could not. Here he comes, like a vank 
farmer, with all the knowledge that our hard soil 
and laborious cultivation could give him, and what 
wonder if he is surprised at the work of his own 
hands, when he comes to such a soil as this, But 
he feeds not so many mouths, though lie tills more 
acn The plants he raises have not so exquisite a 
form, the vegetables so fine a flavor. His cultivation 


becomes more negligent, he is not so good a farmer. 
Is not this a true view ? It strikes me continually. 
The traces of a man's hand in a new country are 
rarely productive of beauty. It is a cutting down of 
forest trees to make zigzag fences." 

The most picturesque objects to be seen from 
Chicago on the inland side were the lines of Hoosier 
wagons. These rude farmers, the large first product 
of the soil, travel leisurely along, sleeping in their 
wagons by night, eating only what they bring w T ith 
them. In the town they observe the same plan, and 
trouble no luxurious hotel for board and lodging. 
In the town they look like foreign peasantry, and 
contrast well with the many Germans, Dutch, and 
Irish. In the country it is very pretty to see them 
prepared to " camp out " at night, their horses taken 
out of harness, and they lounging under the trees, 
enjoying the evening meal. 

On the lake side it is fine to see the great boats 
come panting it from their rapid and marvellous jour- 
ney. Especially at night the motion of their lights 
is very majestic. 

When the favorite boats, the Great Western and 
Illinois, are going out, the town is thronged with 
people from the south and farther west, to go in 
them. These moonlight nights I would hear the 
French rippling and fluttering familiarly amid the rude 
ups and downs of the Hoosier dialect. 

At the hotel table were daily to be seen new 
faces, and new stories to be learned. And any one 
who has a large acquaintance may be pretty sure of 
meeting some of them here in the course of a few 


Among those whom I met was Mrs. Z., the aunt 
of an old schoolmate, to whom I impatiently hast- 
ened, as soon as the meal was over, to demand news 
of Mariana. The answer startled me. Mariana, so 
full of life, was dead. That form, the most rich in 
energy and coloring of any I had ever seen, had 
faded from the earth. The circle of youthful asso- 
ciations had given way in the part, that seemed the 
strongest. What I now learned of the story of this 
life, and what was by myself remembered, may be 
bound together in this slight sketch. 

At the boarding-school to which I was too early 
sent, a fond, a proud, and timid child, I saw among 
the ranks of the gay and graceful, bright or earnest 
girls, only one who interested my fancy or touched 
my young heart ; and this was Mariana. She was, 
on the father's side, of Spanish Creole blood, but had 
been sent to the Atlantic coast, to receive a school 
education under the care of her aunt,. Mrs. Z. 

This lady had kept her mostly at home with her- 
self, and Mariana had gone from her house to a day- 
school ; but the aunt, being absent for a time in Eu- 
rope, she had now been unfortunately committed for 
some time to the mercies of a boarding-school. 

A strange bird she proved there, — a lonely swal- 
low that could not make for itself a summer. At 
first, her schoolmates were captivated with her ways ; 
her love of wild dances and sudden song, her freaks 
of passion and of wit. She was always new, always 
surprising, and, for a time, charming. 

But, after awhile, they tired of her. She could 
never be depended on to join in their plans, yet she 


expected them to follow out hers with their whole 
strength. She was very loving, even infatuated in 
her own affections, and exacted from those who had 
professed any love for her, the devotion she was will- 
ing to bestow. 

Yet there was a vein of haughty caprice in her 
character ; a love of solitude, which made her at 
times wish to retire entirely, and at these times she 
would expect to be thoroughly understood, and let 
alone, yet to be welcomed back when she returned. 
She did not thwart others in their humors, but she 
never doubted of great indulgence from them. 

Some singular habits she had which, when new, 
charmed, but, after acquaintance, displeased her com- 
panions. She had by nature the same habit and 
power of excitement that is described in the spinning 
dervishes of the East. Like them, she would spin 
until all around her were giddy, while her own brain, 
instead of being disturbed, was excited to great ac- 
tion. Pausing, she would declaim verse of others or 
her own ; act many parts, with strange catch-words 
and burdens that seemed to act with mystical power 
on her own fancy, sometimes stimulating her to con- 
vulse the hearer with laughter, sometimes to melt 
him to tears. When her power began to languish, 
she would spin again till fired to recommence her 
singular drama, into which she wove figures from the 
scenes of her earlier childhood, her companions, and 
the dignitaries she sometimes saw, with fantasies un- 
known to life, unknown to heaven or earth. 

This excitement, as may be supposed, was not 
good for her. It oftenest came on in the evening, 


and often spoiled her sleep. She would wake in 
the night, and cheat her restlessness by inventions 
that teazcd, while they sometimes diverted her com- 

She was also a sleep-walker; and t his one trait of 
her case did somewhat alarm her guardians, who, 
otherwise, showed the same profound stupidity as to 
this peculiar being, usual in the overseers of the young. 
They consulted a physician, who said she would out- 
grow it, and prescribed a milk diet. 

Meantime, the fever of this ardent and too early 
stimulated nature was constantly increased by the 
restraints and narrow routine of the boarding school. 
She was always devising means to break in upon it. 
She had a taste which would have seemed ludicrous 
to her mates, if they had not felt some awe of her, 
from a touch of genius and power that never left her, 
for costume and fancy dresses, always some sash 
twisted about her, some drapery, something odd in 
the arrangement of her hair and dress, so that the 
methodical preceptress dared not let her go our with- 
out a careful scrutiny and remodelling, whose sober- 
izing cfiects generally disappeared the moment she 
was in the free air. 

At last, a vent for her was found in private theatri- 
cals. Play followed play, and in these and the re- 
hearsals she found entertainment congenial with her. 
The principal parts, as a matter of course, fell to her 
lot; most of the good suggestions and arrangements 
came from her, and for a time she ruled masterly and 
shone triumphant. 

During these performances the girls had heightened 


their natural bloom with artificial red ; this was de- 
lightful to them — it was something so out of the way. 
But Mariana, after the plays were over, kept her car- 
mine saucer on the dressing-table, and put on her 
blushes regularly as the morning. 

When stared and jeered at, she at first said she did 
it because she thought it made her look prettier ; but, 
after a while, she became quite petulant about it, — 
would make no reply to any joke, but merely kept on 
doing it. 

This irritated the girls, as all eccentricity does the 
world in general, more than vice or malignity. 
They talked it over among themselves, till they got 
wrought up to a desire of punishing, once for all, 
this sometimes amusing, but so often provoking non- 

Having obtained the leave of the mistress, they 
laid, with great glee, a plan one evening, which was 
to be carried into execution next day at dinner. 

Among Mariana's irregularities was a great aver- 
sion to the meal-time ceremonial. So long, so tire- 
some she found it, to be seated at a certain moment, 
to wait while each one was served at so large a table, 
and one where there was scarcely any conversation ; 
from day to day it became more heavy to her to sit 
there, or go there at all. Often as possible she ex- 
cused herself on the ever-convenient plea of head- 
ache, and was hardly ever ready when the dinner- 
bell rang. 

To-day it found her on the balcony, lost in gazing 
on the beautiful prospect. I have heard her say af- 
terwards, she had rarely in her life been so happy, — 


and she was one with whom happiness was a. still 
rapture. It was one of the most blessed summer 
days ; the shadows of great white clouds empurpled 
the distant hills for a few moments only to leave 
them more golden ; the tall grass of the wide fields 
waved in the softest breeze. Pure blue were the 
heavens, and the same hue of pure contentment was 
in the heart of Mariana. 

Suddenly on her bright mood jarred the dinner 
bell. At first rose her usual thought, I will not, can- 
not go ; and then the must, which daily life can al- 
ways enforce, even upon the butterflies and birds, 
came, and she walked reluctantly to her room. She 
merely changed her dress, and never thought of ad- 
ding the artificial rose to her cheek. 

When she took her seat in the dining-hall, and 
was asked if she would be helped, raising her eyes, 
she raW the person who asked her was deeply 
rouged, with a bright glaring spot, perfectly round, in 
either cheek. She looked at the next, same appa- 
rition ! She then slowly passed her eyes down the 
whole line, and saw the same, with a suppressed 
smile distorting every countenance. Catching the 
design at once, she deliberately looked along her 
own side of the table, at every schoolmate in turn ; 
every one had joined in the trick. The teachers 
strove to be grave, but she saw they enjoyed the joke. 
The servants could not suppress a titter. 

When Warren Hastings stood at the bar of West- 
minster Hall — when the Methodist preacher walked 
through a line of men, each of whom greeted him 
with a brickbat or a rotten egg, they had some pre- 



paration for the crisis, and it might not be very diffi- 
cult to meet it with an impassive brow. Our little 
girl was quite unprepared to find herself in the midst 
of a world which despised her, and triumphed in her 

She had ruled, like a queen, in the midst of her 
companions ; she had shed her animation through 
their lives, and loaded them with prodigal favors, nor 
once suspected that a powerful favorite might not be 
loved. Now, she felt that she had been but a dan- 
gerous plaything in the hands of those whose hearts 
she never had doubted. 

Yet, the occasion found her equal to it, for Mari- 
ana had the kind of spirit, which, in a better cause, 
had made the Roman matron truly say of her death- 
wound, " It is not painful, Poetus." She did not 
blench — she did not change countenance. She 
swallowed her dinner with apparent composure. She 
made remarks to those near her, as if she had no 

The wrath of the foe of course rose higher, and 
the moment they were freed from the restraints of 
the dining-room, they all ran off, gaily calling, and 
sarcastically laughing, with backward glances, at Ma- 
riana, left alone. 

She went alone to her room, locked the door, and 
threw herself on the floor in strong convulsions. 
These had sometimes threatened her life, as a child, 
but of later years, she had outgrown them. School- 
hours came, and she was not there. A little girl, sent 
to her door, could get no answer. The teachers be- 
came alarmed, and broke it open. Bitter was their 


penitence and that of her companions at the state in 
which they found her. For some hours, terrible anx- 
iety was felt ; but, at last, nature, exhausted, relieved 
herself by a d; ep slumber. 

From this Mariana rose an altered beincf. She 
made no reply to the expressions of sorrow from her 
companions, none to the grave and kind, but un- 
discerning comments of her teacher. She did not 
name the source of her anguish, and its poisoned 
dart sank deeply in. It was this thought which 
stung her so. What, not one, not a single one, in 
the hour of trial, to take my part, not one who re- 
fused to take part against me. Past words of love, 
and caresses, little heeded at the time, rose to her 
memory, and gave fuel to her distempered thought*. 
Beyond the sense of universal perfidy, of burning 
resentment, she could not get. And Mariana, born 
for love, now bated all the world. 

The change, however, which these feelings made in 
her conduct and appearance bore no such construction 
to the careless observer. Her gay freaks were quite 
gone, her wildness, her invention. Her dress w;is uni- 
form, her manner much subdued. Her chief interest 
seemed now to lie in her studies, and in music. Her 
companions she never sought, but they, partly from 
uneasy remorseful feelings, partly that they really 
liked her much better now that she did not oppress 
and puzzle them, sought her continually. And here 
the black shadow comes upon her life, the only stain 
upon the history of Mariana. 

They talked to her, as girls, having few topics, 
naturally do, of one another. And the demon rose 


within her, and spontaneously, without design, gen- 
erally without words of positive falsehood, she be- 
came a genius of discord among them. She fanned 
those flames of envy and jealousy which a wise, true 
word from a third will often quench forever ; by a 
glance, or a seemingly light reply, she planted the 
seeds of dissension, till there was scarce a peaceful 
affection, or sincere intimacy in the circle where she 
lived, and could not but rule, for she was one whose 
nature was to that of the others as fire to clay. 

It was at this time that I came to the school, and 
first saw Mariana. Me she charmed at once, for I 
was a sentimental child, who, in my early ill health, 
had been indulged in reading novels, till I had no 
eyes for the common greens and browns of life. The 
heroine of one of these, " The Bandit's Bride," I im- 
mediately saw in Mariana. Surely the Bandit's Bride 
had just such hair, and such strange, lively ways, and 
such a sudden flash of the eye. The Bandit's Bride, 
too, was born to be " misunderstood " by all but her 
lover. But Mariana, I was determined, should be 
more fortunate, for, until her lover appeared, I my- 
self would be the wise and delicate being who could 
understand her. 

It was not, however, easy to approach her for this 
purpose. Did I offer to run and fetch her handker- 
chief, she was obliged to go to her room, and would 
rather do it herself. She did not like to have people 
turn over for her the leaves of the music book as she 
played. Did I approach my stool to her feet, she 
moved away, as if to give me room. The bunch of 
wild flowers which I timidly laid beside her plate was 
left there. 


After some weeks my desire to attract her notice 
really preyed upon me, and one day meeting her 
alone in the entry, I fell upon my knees, and kissing 
her hand, cried, " O Mariana, do let me love you, 
and try to love me a little." But my idol snatched 
away her hand, and, laughing more wildly than the 
Bandit's Bride was ever described to have done, ran 
into her room. After that day her manner to me 
was not only cold, but repulsive ; I felt myself scorned, 
and became very unhappy. 

Perhaps four months had passed thus, when, one 
afternoon, it became obvious that something more 
than common was brewing. Dismay and mystery 
were written in many faces of the older girls ; much 
whispering was going on in corners. 

In the evening, after prayers, the principal bade 
us stay ; and, in a grave, sad voice, summoned forth 
Maiiana to answer charges to be made against her. 

Mariana came forward, and leaned against the 
chimney-piece. Eight ef the older girls came for- 
ward, and preferred against her charges, alas, too 
well-founded, of calumny and falsehood. 

My heart sank within me, as one after the other 
brought up their proofs, and I saw they were too 
strong to be resisted. I could not bear the thought 
of this second disgrace of my shining favorite. The 
first had been whispered to me, though the girls did 
not like to talk about it. I must confess, such is the 
charm of strength to softer natures, that neither of 
these crises could deprive Mariana of hers in my 


At first, she defended herself with self-possession 
and eloquence. But when she found she could no 
more resist the truth, she suddenly threw herself 
down, dashing her head, with all her force, against 
the iron hearth, on which a fire was burning, and 
was taken up senseless. 

The affright of those present was great. Now 
that they had perhaps killed her, they reflected it 
would have been as well, if they had taken warning 
from the former occasion, and approached very care- 
fully a nature so capable of any extreme. After 
awhile she revived, with a faint groan, amid the sobs 
of her companions. I was on my knees by the bed, 
and held her cold hand. One of those most ag- 
grieved took it from me to beg her pardon, and say 
it was impossible not to love her. She made no 

Neither that night, nor for several days, could a 
word be obtained from her, nor would she touch 
food ; but, when it was presented to her, or any one 
drew near for any cause, she merely turned away her 
head, and gave no sign. The teacher saw that some 
terrible nervous affection had fallen upon her, that 
she grew more and more feverish. She knew not 
what to do. 

Meanwhile a new revolution had taken place in 
the mind of the passionate, but nobly-tempered child. 
All these months nothing but the sense of injury had 
rankled in her heart. She had gone on in one 
mood, doing what the demon prompted, without 
scruple and without fear. 

But, at the moment of detection, the tide ebbed, 


and the bottom of her soul lay revealed to her eye. 
How black, how stained and sad. Strange, strange 
that she had not seen befoie the baseness and cruelty 
of falsehood, the loveliness of truth. Now, amid the 
wreck, uprose the moral nature which never before 
had attained the ascendant. " But," she thought, 
" too late, sin is revealed to me in all its deformity, 
and, sin-defiled, I will not, cannot live. The main- 
spring of life is broken." 

And thus passed slowly by her hours in that black 
despair of which only youtli is capable. In older 
years men suffer more dull pain, as each sorrow that 
comes drops its leaden weight into the past, and, 
similar features of character bringing similar results, 
draws up a heavy burden buried in those depths. 
But only youth has energy, with fixed unwinking 
gaze, to contemplate grief, to hold it in the arms and 
to the heart, like a child which makes it wretched, 
yet is indubitably its own. 

The lady who took charge of this sad child had 
nev<r well understood her before, but had always 
looked on her with great tenderness. And now love 
seemed, when all around were in greatest distress, 
fearing to call in medical aid, fearing to do without 
it, to teach her where the only balm was to be found 
that could have healed this wounded spirit. 

One night she came in, bringing a calming draught 
Mariana was sitting, as usual, her hair loose, her 
dress the same robe they had put on her at first, her 
eyes fixed vacantly upon the whited wall. To the 
proffers and entreaties of her nurse she made no 


The lady burst into tears, but Mariana did not 
seem even to observe it. 

The lady then said, " O my child, do not despair, 
do not think that one great fault can mar a whole 
life. Let me trust you, let me tell you the griefs of 
my sad life. I will tell to you, Mariana, what I 
never expected to impart to any one." 

And so she told her tale : it was one of pain, of 
shame, borne, not for herself, but for one near and 
dear as herself. Mariana knew the lady, knew the 
pride and reserve of her nature ; she had often ad- 
mired to see how the cheek, lovely, but no longer 
young, mantled with the deepest blush of youth, and 
the blue eyes were cast down at any little emotion. 
She had understood the proud sensibility of the 
character. She fixed her eyes on those now raised 
to hers, bright with fast falling tears. She heard the 
story to the end, and then, without saying a word, 
stretched out her hand for the cup. 

She returned to life, but it was as one who has 
passed through the valley of death. The heart of 
stone was quite broken in her. The fiery life fallen 
from flame to coal. When her strength was a little 
restored, she had all her companions summoned, and 
said to them ; " I deserved to die, but a generous 
trust has called me back to life. I will be worthy of 
it, nor ever betray the truth, or resent injury more. 
Can you forgive the past?" 

And they not only forgave, but, with love and 
earnest tears, clasped in their arms the returning 
sister. They vied with one another in offices of 
humble love to the humbled one ; and, let it be re- 


corded as an instance of the pure honor of which 
young hearts are capable, that these facts, known to 
forty persons, never, so far as I know, transpired 
beyond those walls. 

It was not loner after this that Mariana was sum- 
moned home. She went thither a wonderfully in- 
structed being, though in ways those who had sent 
her forth to learn little dreamed of. 

Never was forgotten the vow of the returning 
prodigal. Mariana could not resent, could not 
plav false. The terrible crisis, which she so early 
passed through, probably prevented the world from 
hearing much of her. A wild fire was tamed in that 
hour of. penitence at the boarding school, such as has 
oftentimes wrapped court and camp in its destructive 

But great were the perils she had yet to undergo, 
for she was one of those barks which easily get be- 
yond soundings, and ride not lightly on the plunging 

Her return to her native climate seconded the 
effects of inward revolutions. The cool airs of the 
north had exasperated nerves too susceptible for their 
tension. Those of the south restored her to a more 
soft and indolent state. Energy gave place to feel- 
ing, turbulence to intensity of character. 

At this time love was the natural guest, and he 
came to her under a form that might have deluded 
one less ready for delusion. 

Sylvain was a person well proportioned to her lot 
in years, family, and fortune. His personal beauty 
was not great, but of a noble character. Repose 


marked his slow gesture, and the steady gaze of his 
large brown eye, but it was a repose that would give 
way to a blaze of energy when the occasion called. 
In his stature, expression, and heavy coloring, he 
might not unfitly be represented by the great mag- 
nolias that inhabit the forests of that climate. His 
voice, like everything about him, was rich and soft, 
rather than sweet or delicate. 

Mariana no sooner knew him than she loved, and 
her love, lovely as she was, soon excited his. But, 
oh ! it is a curse to woman to love first, or most. In 
so doing she reverses the natural relations, and her 
heart can never, never be satisfied with what ensues. 

Mariana loved first, and loved most, for she had 
most force and variety to love with. Sylvain seemed, 
at first, to take her to himself, as the deep southern 
night might some fair star. But it proved not so. 

Mariana was a very intellectual being, and she 
needed companionship. This she could only have 
with Sylvain, in the paths of passion and action. 
Thoughts he had none, and little delicacy of senti- 
ment. The gifts she loved to prepare of such for 
him, he took with a sweet, but indolent smile ; 
he held them lightly, and soon they fell from his 
grasp. He loved to have her near him, to feel the 
glow and fragrance of her nature, but cared not to 
explore the little secret paths whence that fragrance 
w r as collected. 

Mariana knew not this for a long time. Loving 
so much, she imagined all the rest, and, where she 
felt a blank, always hoped that further communion 
would fill it up. When she found this could never 


be ; that there was absolutely a whole province of 
her being to which nothing in his answered, she 
was too deeply in love to leave him. Often after 
passing hours together, beneath the southern moon, 
when, amid the sweet intoxication of mutual lovi 
she still felt the desolation of solitude, and a repres- 
sion of her finer powers, she had asked herself, can I 
give him up ? But the heart always passionately an- 
swered, no ! I may be miserable with him, but I 
cannot live without him. 

And the last miserable feeling of these conflicts 
was, that if the lover, soon to be the bosom friend, 
could have dreamed of these conflicts, he would have 
laughed, or else been angry, even enough to give 
her up. 

Ah weakness of the strong. Of these strong only 
where strength is weakness. Like others she had 
the decisions of life to make, before she had light by 
which to make them. Let none condemn her. 
Those who have not erred as fatally, should thank 
the guardian angel who gave them more time to 
prepare for judgment, but blame no children who 
thought at arm's length to find the moon. Mariana, 
with a heart capable of highest Eros, gave it to one 
who knew love only as a flower or plaything, and 
bound her heartstrings to one who parted his 
lightly as the ripe fruit leaves the bough. The se- 
quel could not fail. Many console themselves for 
the one great mistake with their children, with the 
world. This was not possible to Mariana. A few 
months of domestic life she still was almost happy. 
But Sylvain then grew tired. He wanted business 


and the world ; of these she had no knowledge, for 
them no faculties. He wanted in her the head of 
his house ; she to make her heart his home. No 
compromise was possible between natures of such 
unequal poise, and which had met only on one or 
two points. Through all its stages she 

" felt 
The agonizing sense 
Of seeing love from passion melt 
Into indifference ; 
The fearful shame that, day by day, 
' Burns onward, still to burn, 
To have thrown her precious heart away. 
And met this black return," 

till death at last closed the scene. Not that she 
died of one downright blow on the heart. That is 
not the way such cases proceed. I cannot detail all 
the symptoms, for I was not there to watch them, 
and aunt Z. was neither so faithful an observer or 
narrator as I have shown myself in the school-day 
passages ; but, generally, they were as follows. 

Sylvain wanted to go into the world, or let it into 
his house. Mariana consented ; but, with an un- 
satisfied heart, and no lightness of character, she 
played her part ill there. The sort of talent and 
facility she had displayed in early days, were not the 
least like what is called out in the social world by 
the desire to please and to shine. Her excitement 
had been muse-like, that of the improvisatrice, whose 
kindling fancy seeks to create an atmosphere round 
it, and makes the chain through which to set free its 
electric sparks. That had been a time of wild and 
exuberant life. After her character became more 


tender and concentrated, strong affection or a pure 
enthusiasm might still have called out beautiful tal- 
ents in her. But in the first she was utterly disap- 
pointed. The second was not roused within her 
thought. She did not expand into various life, and 
remained unequal ; sometimes too passive, sometimes 
too ardent, and not sufficiently occupied with what 
occupied those around her to come on the same level 
with them and embellish their hours. 

Thus she lost ground daily with her husband, who, 
comparing her with the careless shining dames of 
society, wondered why he had found her so charming 
in solitude. 

At intervals, when they were left alone, Mariana 
wanted to open her heart, to tell the thoughts of her 
mind. She was so conscious of secret riches within 
herself, that sometimes it seemed, could she but re- 
veal a glimpse of them to the eye of Sylvain, he 
would be attracted near her again, and take a path 
where they could walk hand in hand. Sylvain, in 
these intervals, wanted an indolent repose. His home 
was his castle. He wanted no scenes too exciting 
there. Light jousts and plays were well enough, 
but no grave encounters. He liked to lounge, to 
sing, to read, to sleep. In fine, Sylvain became the 
kind, but preoccupied husband, Mariana, the solitary 
and wretched wife. He was oft' continually, with 
his male companions, on excursions or affairs of 
pleasure. At home Mariana found that neither her 
books nor music would console her. 

She was of too strong a nature to yield without a 


struggle to so dull a fiend as despair. She looked 
into other hearts, seeking whether she could there 
find such home as an orphan asylum may afford. 
This she did rather because the chance came to her, 
and it seemed unfit not to seize the proffered plank, 
than in hope, for she was not one to double her 
stakes, but rather with Cassandra power to discern 
early the sure course of the game. And Cassandra 
whispered that she was one of those 

" Whom men love not, but yet regret," 

And so it proved. Just as in her childish days, 
though in a different form, it happened betwixt her 
and these companions. She could not be content 
to receive them quietly, but was stimulated to throw 
herself too much into the tie, into the hour, till she 
filled it too full for them. Like Fortunio, who 
sought to do homage to his friends by building a fire 
of cinnamon, not knowing that its perfume would 
be too strong for their endurance, so did Mariana. 
What she wanted to tell, they did not wish to hear ; 
a little had pleased, so much overpowered, and they 
preferred the free air of the street, even, to the cin- 
namon perfume of her palace. 

However, this did not signify ; had they staid, it 
would not have availed her ! It was a nobler road, 
a higher aim she needed now ; this did not become 
clear to her. 

She lost her appetite, she fell sick, had fever. 
Sylvain was alarmed, nursed her tenderly ; she grew 
better. Then his care ceased, he saw not the mind's 


disease, but left her to rise into health and recover the 
tone of her spirits, as she might. More solitary than 
ever, she tried to raise herself, but she knew not yet 
enough. The weight laid upon her young life was 
a little too heavy for it. One lung day she passed 
alone, and the thoughts and presages came too thick 
for her strength. She knew not what to do with 
them, relapsed into fever, and died. 

Notwithstanding this weakness, I must ever think 
of her as a fine sample of womanhood, born to shec 
light and life on some palace home. Had she knowi 
more of God and the universe, she would not hav« 
given way where so many have conquered. Bu 
peace be with her; she now, perhaps, has entere< 
into a larger freedom, which is knowledge. Wit! 
her died a great interest in life to me. Since her . 
have never seen a Bandit's Bride. She, indeed, 
turned out to be only a merchant's. — Sylvain is 
married again to a fair and laughing girl, who will 
not die. probably, till their marriage grows a "golden 

Aunt Z. had with her some papers of Mariana's, 
which faintly shadow fortli the thoughts that en- 
gaged her in the last days. One of these seems to 
have been written when some faint gleam had been 
thrown across the path, only to make its darkness 
more visible. It seems to have been su_ r ^< sted 
by remembrance of the beautiful ballad, Helen of 
Kirconnel Lee, which once she loved to recite, and 
in tones that would not have sent a chill to the heart 
from which it came. 


" Death 
Opens her sweet white arms, and whispers Peace; 
Come, say thy sorrows in this bosom ! This 
Will never close against thee, and my heart, 
Though cold, cannot be colder much than man's." 

" I wish I were where Helen lies," 
A lover in the times of old, 

Thus vents his grief in lonely sighs, 
And hot tears from a bosom cold. 

But, mourner for thy martyred love, 
Could'st thou but know what hearts must feel, 

Where no sweet recollections move, 
Whose tears a desert fount reveal. 

When " in thy arms burd Helen fell," 
She died, sad man, she died for thee, 

Nor' could the films of death dispel 
Her loving eye's sweet radiancy. 

Thou wert beloved, and she had loved, 
Till death alone the whole could tell, 

Death every shade of doubt removed, 
And steeped the star in its cold well. 

On some fond breast the parting soul 
Relies, — earth has no more to give ; 

Who wholly loves has known the whole, 
The wholly loved doth truly live. 

But some, sad outcasts from this prize, 
Wither down to a lonely grave, 

All hearts their hidden love despise, 
And leave them to the whelming wave. 


They heart to heart have never pressed, 
Nor hands in holy pledge have given, 

By father's love were ne'er caressed, 
Nor in a mother's eye saw heaven. 

A fiowerless and fruitless tree, 
A dried up stream, a mateless bird, 

They live, yet never living be, 
They die, their music all unheard. 

I wish I were where Helen lies, 
For there I could not be alone; 

But now, when this dull body dies, 
The spirit still will make its moan. 

Love passed me by, nor touched my brow ; 
Life would not yield one perfect boon ; 

And all too late it calls me now, 
O all too late, and all too soon. 

If thou couldst the dark riddle read 
Which leaves this dart within my breast, 

Then might I think thou lov'st indeed, 
Then were the whole to thee confest. 

Father, they will not take me home, 
To the poor child no heart is free ; 

In sleet and snow all night I roam ; 
Father, — was this decreed by thee ? 

I will not try another door, 
To seek what I have never found ; 

Now, till the very last is o'er, 
Upon the earth I '11 wander round. 



I will not hear the treacherous call 
That bids me stay and rest awhile, 

For I have found that, one and all, 
They seek me for a prey and spoil. 

They are not bad, I know it well ; 
I know they know not what they do ; 

They are the tools of the dread spell 
Which the lost lover must pursue. 

In temples sometimes she may rest, 
In lonely groves, away from men, 

There bend the head, by heats distrest, 
Nor be by blows awoke again. 

Nature is kind, and God is kind, 
And, if she had not had a heart, 

Only that great discerning mind, 
She might have acted well her part. 

But oh this thirst, that none can still, 
Save those unfounden waters free ; 

The angel of my life should fill 
And soothe me to Eternity ! 

It marks the defect in the position of woman that 
one like Mariana should have found reason to write 
thus. To a man of equal power, equal sincerity, no 
morel — many resources would have presented them- 
selves. He would not have needed to seek, he would 
have been called by life, and not permitted to be 
quite wrecked through the affections only. But such 
women as Mariana are often lost, unless they meet 
some man of sufficiently great soul to prize them. 


Van Artevelde's Elena, though in her individual 
nature unlike my Mariana, is like her in a mind 
whose large impulses are disproportioned to the per- 
sons and occasions she meets, and which carry her 
beyond those reserves which mark the appointed lot 
of woman. But, when she met Van Artevelde, he was 
too great not to revere her rare nature, without re- 
gard to the stains and errors of its past history ; great 
enough to receive her entirely and make a new life 
for her ; man enough to be a lover ! But as such 
men come not so often as once an age, their presence 
should not be absolutely needed to sustain life. 

At Chicago I read again Philip Van Artevelde, 
and certain passages in it will always be in my mind 
associated with the deep sound of the lake, as heard 
in the night. I used to read a short time at night, 
and then open the blind to look out. The moon 
would be full upon the lake, and the calm breath, 
pure light, and the deep voice harmonized well with 
the thought of the Flemish hero. When will this 
country have such a man ? It is what she needs ; no 
thin Idealist, no coarse Realist, but a man whose eye 
reads the heavens while his feet step firmly on the 
ground, and his hands are strong and dexterous for 
the use of human implements. A man religious, virtu- 
ous and — sagacious ; a man of universal sympathies, 
but self-possessed ; a man who knows the region of 
emotion, though he is not its slave ; a man to whom this 
world is no mere spectacle, or fleeting shadow, but a 
great solemn game to be played with good heed, for 
its stakes are of eternal value, yet who, if his own 
play be true, heeds not what he loses by the falsehood 


of others. A man who hives from the past, yet 
knows that its honey can but moderately avail him ; 
whose comprehensive eye scans the present, neither 
infatuated by its golden lures, nor chilled by its many 
ventures ; who possesses prescience, as the wise man 
must, but not so far as to be driven mad to-day by 
the gift which discerns to-morrow. When there is 
such a man for America, the thought which urges her 
on will be expressed. 

Now that I am about to leave Illinois, feelings of 
regret and admiration come over me, as in parting 
with a friend whom we have not had the good sense 
to prize and study, while hours of association, never 
perhaps to return, were granted. I have fixed my 
attention almost exclusively on the picturesque beauty 
of this region ; it was so new, so inspiring. But I 
ought to have been more interested in the housekeep- 
ing of this magnificent state, in the education she is 
giving her children, in their prospects. 

Illinois is, at present, a by-word of reproach among 
the nations, for the careless, prodigal course, by which, 
in early youth, she has endangered her honor. But 
you cannot look about you there, without seeing that 
there are resources abundant to retrieve, and soon to 
retrieve, far greater errors, if they are only directed 
with wisdom. 

Might the simple maxim, that honesty is the best 
policy be laid to heart! Might a sense of the true 
aims of life elevate the tone of politics and trade, till 
public and private honor become identical ! Might 
the western man in that crowded and exciting life 
which develops his faculties so fully for to-day, not 


forget that better part which could not be taken from 
him ! Might the western woman take that interest 
and acquire that light for the education of the child- 
ren, for which she alone has leisure ! 

This is indeed the great problem of the place and 
time. If the next generation be well prepared for 
their work, ambitious of good and skilful to achieve 
it, the children of the present settlers may be leaven 
enough for the mass constantly increasing by emigra- 
tion. And how much is this needed where those 
rude foreigners can so little understand the best in- 
terests of the land they seek for bread and shelter. 
It would be a happiness to aid in this good work, and 
interweave the white and golden threads into the 
fate of Illinois. It would be a work worthy the de- 
votion of any mind. 

In the little that I saw, was a large proportion of 
intelligence, activity, and kind feeling ; but, if there 
was much serious laying to heart of the true pur- 
poses of life, it did not appear in the tone of conver- 

Having before me the Illinois guide-book, I find 
there mentioned, as a " visionary," one of the men 
I should think of as able to be a truly valuable set- 
tler in a new and great country — Morris Birkbeck, 
of England. Since my return, I have read his jour- 
ney to, and letters from, Illinois. I see nothing pro- 
mised there that will not surely belong to the man 
who knows how to seek for it. 

Mr. Birkbeck was an enlightened philanthropist, 
the rather that he did not wish to sacrifice himself to 
his fellow men, but to benefit them with all he had, 


and was, and wished. He thought all the creatures 
of a divine love ought to be happy and ought to be 
good, and that his own soul and his own life were 
not less precious than those of others ; indeed, that 
to keep these healthy, was his only means of a healthy 

But his aims were altogether generous. Freedom, 
the liberty of law, not license ; not indolence, work 
for himself and children and all men, but under ge- 
nial and poetic influences ; — these were his aims. 
How different from those of the new settlers in gen- 
eral ! And into his mind so long ago shone steadily 
the two thoughts, now so prevalent in thinking and 
aspiring minds, of " Resist not evil," and " Every 
man his own priest, and the heart the only true 

He has lost credit for sagacity from accidental cir- 
cumstances. It does not appear that his position was 
ill chosen, or his means disproportioned to his ends, 
had he been sustained by funds from England, as he 
had a right to expect. But through the profligacy of 
a near relative, commissioned to collect these dues, 
he was disappointed of them, and his paper protested 
and credit destroyed in our cities, before he became 
aware of his danger. 

Still, though more slowly and with more difficulty, 
he might have succeeded in his designs. The Eng- 
lish farmer might have made the English settlement 
a model for good methods and good aims to all that 
region, had not death prematurely cut short his plans. 

I have wished to say these few words, because the 
veneration with which I have been inspired for his 


character by those who knew him well, makes me 
impatient of this careless blame being passed from 
mouth to mouth and book to book. Success is no 
test of a man's endeavor, and Illinois will yet, I hope, 
regard this man, who knew so well what ought to be, 
as one of her true patriarchs, the Abraham of a pro- 
mised land. 

He was one too much before his time to be soon 
valued ; but the time is growing up to him, and will 
understand his mild philanthropy and clear, lai: 

I subjoin the account of his death, given me by a 
friend, as expressing, in fair picture, the character of 
the man. 

" Mr. Birkbeck was returning from the scat of 
government, whither he had been on public business, 
and was accompanied by his son Bradford, a youth 
of sixteen or eighteen. It was necessary to cross a 
ford, which was rendered difficult by the swelling of 
the stream. Mr. B.'s horse was unwilling to plunge 
into the water, so his son offered to go first, and he 
followed. Bradford's horse had just gained footing 
on the opposite shore, when he looked back and per- 
ceived his father was dismounted, struggling in the 
water, and carried down by the current. 

" Mr. Birkbeck could not swim ; Bradford could ; 
so he dismounted, and plunged into the stream to 
save his father. lie got to him before he sank, held 
him up above water, and told him to take hold of Ins 
collar, and he would swim ashore with him. Mr. B. 
did so, and Bradford exerted all his strength to stem 
the current and reach the shore at a point where they 


could land ; but, encumbered by his own clothing 
and his father's weight, he made no progress ; and 
when Mr. B. perceived this, he, with his characteris- 
tic calmness and resolution, gave up his hold of his 
son, and, motioning to him to save himself, resigned 
himself to his fate. His son reached the shore, but 
was too much overwhelmed bv his loss to leave it. 
He was found by some travellers, many hours after, 
seated on the margin of the stream, with his head in 
his hands, stupefied with grief. 

" The body was found, and on the countenance 
was the sweetest smile; and Bradford said, c just so 
he smiled upon me when he let go and pushed me 
away from him.' " 

Many men can choose the right and best on a great 
occasion, but not many can, with such ready and se- 
rene decision, lay aside even life, when it is right and 
best. This little narrative touched my imagination 
in very early youth, and often has come up, in lonely 
vision, that face, serenely smiling above the current 
which bore him away to another realm of being. 



A territory, not yet a state ; still, nearer the acorn 
than we were. 

It was very pleasant coming up. These large and 
elegant boats are so well arranged that every excur- 
sion may be a party of pleasure. There are many 
fair shows to see on the lake and its shores, almost 
always new and agreeable persons on board, pretty 
children playing about, ladies singing, (and if not 
very well, there is room to keep out of the way.) 
You may see a great deal here of Life, in the Lon- 
don sense, if you know a few people ; or if you do 
not, and have the tact to look about you without 
seeming to stare. 

We came to Milwaukie, where we were to pass a 
fortnight or more. 

This place is most beautifully situated. A little 
river, with romantic banks, passes up through the 
town. The bank of the lake is here a bold bluff, 
eighty feet in height. From its summit, you enjoyed 
a noble outlook on the lake. A little narrow path 



wound along the edge of the lake below. I liked 
this walk much. Above me this high wall of rich 
earth, garlanded on its crest with trees, the long ripples 
of the lake coming up to my feet. Here, standing 
in the shadow, I could appreciate better its magnifi- 
cent changes of color, which are the chief beauties 
of the lake-waters ; but these are indescribable. 

It was fine to ascend into the lighthouse, above 
this bluff, and watch from thence the thunder-clouds 
which so frequently rose over the lake, or the great 
boats coming in. Approaching the Milwaukie pier, 
they made a bend, and seemed to do obeisance in 
the heavy style of some dowager duchess entering a 
circle she wishes to treat with especial respect. 

These boats come in and out every day, and still 
afford a cause for general excitement. The people 
swarm down to greet them, to receive and send away 
their packages and letters. To me they seemed such 
mighty messengers, to give, by their noble motion, such 
an idea of the power and fullness of life, that they 
were worthy to carry despatches from king to king. 
It must be very pleasant for those who have an active 
share in carrying on the affairs of this great and 
growing world to see them come in. It must be 
very pleasant to those who have dearly loved friends 
at the next station. To those who have neither busi- 
ness nor friends, it sometimes gives a desolating sense 
of insignificance. 

The town promises to be, some time, a fine one, as 
it is so well situated ; and they have good building 
material — a yellow brick, very pleasing to the eye. 
It seems to grow before you, and has indeed but just 


emerged from the thickets of oak and wild roses. A 
few steps will take you into the thickets, and certainly 
I never saw so many wild roses, or of so beautiful a 
red. Of such a color were the first red ones the 
world ever saw, when, says the legend, Venus flying 
to the assistance of Adonis, the rosebushes kept 
catching her to make her stay, and the drops of blood 
the thorns drew from her feet, as she tore herself 
away, fell on the white roses, and turned them this 
beautiful red. 

I will here insert, though with no excuse, except 
that it came to memory at the time, this description of 
Titian's Venus and Adonis. 

" This picture has that perfect balance of lines and 
forms that it would, (as was said of all Raphael's) 
' seen at any distance have the air of an ornamental 
design.' It also tells its story at the first glance, 
though, like all beautiful works, it gains by study. 

" On one side slumbers the little God of Love, 
as an emblem, I suppose, that only the love of man 
is worth embodying, for surely Cytherea's is awake 
enough. The quiver of Cupid, suspended to a tree, 
gives sportive grace to the scene which softens the 
tragedy of a breaking tie. The dogs of Adonis pull 
upon his hand ; he can scarce forbear to burst from 
the detaining arms of Beauty herself, yet he waits a 
moment to coax her — to make an unmeaning pro- 
mise. c A moment, a moment, my love, and 1 will 
return ; a moment only.' Adonis is not beautiful, 
except in his expression of eager youth. The Queen 
of Beauty does not choose Apollo. Venus herself is 
very beautiful ; especially the body is lovely as can 


be ; and the soft, imploring look, gives a conjugal del- 
icacy to the face which purifies the whole picture. 
This Venus is not as fresh, as moving and breathing 
as Shakspeare's, yet lovelier to the mind if not to 
the sense. 'T is difficult to look at this picture with- 
out indignation, because it is, in one respect, so true. 
Why must women always try to detain and restrain 
what they love ? Foolish beauty ; let him go ; it is 
thy tenderness that has spoiled him. Be less love- 
ly — less feminine ; abandon thy fancy for giving thy- 
self wholly ; cease to love so well, and any Hercules 
will spin among thy maids, if thou wilt. But let him 
go this time ; thou canst not keep him. Sit there, by 
thyself, on that bank, and, instead of thinking how 
soon he will come back, think how thou may'st love 
him no better than he does thee, for the time has 

It was soon after this moment that the poor Queen, 
hearing the frightened hounds, apprehended the rash 
huntsman's danger, and, flying through the woods, 
gave their hue to the red roses. 

To return from the Grecian isles to Milwaukie. 
One day, walking along the river's bank in search of 
a waterfall to be seen from one ravine, we heard 
tones from a band of music, and saw a gay troop 
shooting at a mark, on the opposite bank. Between 
every shot the band played ; the effect was very 

On this walk we found two of the oldest and most 
gnarled hemlocks that ever afforded study for a 
painter. They were the only ones we saw ; they 
seemed the veterans of a former race. 


At Milwaukie, as at Chicago, are many pleasant 
people, drawn together from all parts of the world. 
A resident here would find great piquancy in the as- 
sociations, — those he met having such dissimilar 
histories and topics. And several persons I saw evi- 
dently transplanted from the most refined circles to 
be met in this country. There are lures enough in 
the West for people of all kinds ; — the enthusiast 
and the cunning man ; the naturalist, and the lover 
who needs to be rich for the sake of her he loves. 

The torrent of emigration swells very strongly 
towards this place. During the fine weather, the 
poor refugees arrive daily, in their national dresses, 
all travel-soiled and worn. The night they pass in 
rude shantees, in a particular quarter of the town, 
then walk off into the country — the mothers carry- 
ing their infants, the fathers leading the little child- 
ren by the hand, seeking a home where their hands 
may maintain them. 

One morning we set off in their track, and trav- 
elled a day's journey into this country, — fair, yet not, 
in that part which I saw, comparable, in my eyes, to 
the Rock River region. It alternates rich fields, 
proper for grain, with oak openings, as they are 
called ; bold, various and beautiful were the features 
of the scene, but I saw not those majestic sweeps, 
those boundless distances, those heavenly fields ; it 
was not the same world. 

Neither did we travel in the same delightful man- 
ner. We were now in a nice carriage, which must 
not go oft' the road, for fear of breakage, with a regu- 
lar coachman, whose chief care was not to tire his 


horses, and who had no taste for entering fields in 
pursuit of wild flowers, or tempting some strange 
wood path in search of whatever might befall. It 
was pleasant, but almost as tame as New England. 

But charming indeed was the place where we 
stopped. It was in the vicinity of a chain of lakes, 
and on the bank of the loveliest little stream, called 
the Bark river, which flowed in rapid amber bright- 
ness, through fields, and dells, and stately knolls, of 
most idylic beauty. 

The little log cabin where we slept, with its flower 
garden in front, disturbed the scene no more than a 
stray lock on the fair cheek. The hospitality of that 
house I may well call princely ; it was the boundless 
hospitality of the heart, which, if it has no Aladdin's 
lamp to create a palace for the guest, does him still 
higher service by the freedom of its bounty up to the 
very last drop of its powers. 

Sweet were the sunsets seen in the valley of this 
stream, though here, and, I grieve to say, no less near 
the Rock River, the fiend, who has ever liberty to 
tempt the happy in this world, appeared in the shape 
of mosquitoes, and allowed us no bodily to enjoy our 
mental peace. 

One day we ladies gave, under the guidance of our 
host, to visiting all the beauties of the adjacent lakes — 
Nomabbin, Silver, and Pine Lakes. On the shore of 
Nomabbin had formerly been one of the finest In- 
dian villages. Our host said that, one day, as he was 
lying there beneath the bank, he saw a tall Indian 
standing at gaze on the knoll. He lay a long time, 
curious to see how long the figure would maintain its 


statne-like absorption. But, at last, his patience 
yielded, and, in moving, he made a slight noise. The 
Indian saw him, gave a wild, snorting sound of in- 
dignation and pain, and strode away. 

What feelings must consume their heart at such 
moments ! I scarcely see how they can -forbear to 
shoot the white man where he stands. 

But the power of fate is with the white man, and 
the Indian feels it. This same gentleman told of his 
travelling through the wilderness with an Indian 
guide. He had with him a bottle of spirit which he 
meant to give him in small quantities, but the Indian, 
once excited, wanted the whole at once. I would 

not, said Mr. , give it him, for I thought if he 

got really drunk, there was an end to his services as 
a guide. But he persisted, and at last tried to take 
it from me. I was not armed ; he was, and twice as 
strong as I. But I knew an Indian could not resist 
the look of a white man, and I fixed my eye steadily 
on his. He bore it for a moment, then his eye fell ; 
he let go the bottle. I took his gun and threw it to 
a distance. After a few moments' pause, I told him 
to go and fetch it, and left it in his hands. From 
that moment he was quite obedient, even servile, all 
the rest of the way. 

This gentleman, though in other respects of most 
kindly and liberal heart, showed the aversion that the 
white man soon learns to feel for the Indian on whom 
he encroaches, the aversion of the injure! for him he 
has degraded. After telling the anecdote of his see- 
ing the Indian gazing at the seat of his former home, 

" A thing for human feelings the most trying," 


and which, one would think, would have awakened 
soft compassion — almost remorse — in the present 
owner of that fair hill, which contained for the exile 
the bones of his dead, the ashes of his hopes, — he 
observed, " They cannot be prevented from strag- 
gling back here to their old haunts. I wish they 
could. They ought not to permitted to drive away 
our game." Our game — just heavens ! 

The same gentleman showed, on a slight occasion, 
the true spirit of the sportsman, or, perhaps I might 
say of Man, when engaged in any kind of chase. 
Showing us some antlers, he said, " This one be- 
longed to a majestic creature. But this other was 
the beauty. I had been lying a long time at watch, 
when at last I heard them come crackling along. I 
lifted my head cautiously, as they burst through the 
trees. The first was a magnificent fellow ; but then 
I saw coming one, the prettiest, the most graceful I 
ever beheld — there was something so soft and be- 
seeching in its look. I chose him at once ; took aim, 
and shot him dead. You see the antlers are not very 
large ; it was young, but the prettiest creature ! " . 

In the course of this morning's drive, we visited 
the gentlemen on their fishing party. They hailed 
us gaily, and rowed ashore to show us what fine 
booty they had. No disappointment there, no dull 
work. On the beautiful point of land from which 
we first saw them, lived a contented woman, the only 
one I heard of out there. She was English, and 
said she had seen so much suffering in her own coun- 
try that the hardships of this seemed as nothing to her. 
But the others — even our sweet and gentle hos- 

WOODS. 117 

tcss — found their labors disproportioned to their 
strength, if not to their patience ; and, while their 
husbands and brothers enjoyed the country in hunt- 
ing or fishing, they found themselves confined to a 
comfortless and laborious indoor life. But it need 
not be so long. 

This afternoon, driving about on the banks of these 
lakes, we found the scene all of one kind of loveli- 
ness ; wide, graceful woods, and then these fine sheets 
of water, with fine points of land jutting out boldly 
into them. It was lovely, but not striking or pecu- 

All woods suggest pictures. The European forest, 
with its long glades and green sunny dells, naturally 
suggested the figures of armed knight on his proud 
steed, or maiden, decked in gold and pearl, pricking 
along them on a snow white palfrey. The green dells, 
of weary Palmer sleeping there beside the spring with 
his head upon his wallet. Our minds, familiar with 
such figures, people with them the New England 
woods, wherever the sunlight falls down a longer 
than usual cart-track, wherever a cleared spot has 
lain still enough for the trees to look friendly, with 
their exposed sides cultivated by the light, and the 
grass to look velvet warm, and be embroidered with 
flowers. These western woods suggest a different kind 
of ballad. The Indian legends have, often, an air of 
the wildest solitude, as has the one Mr. Lowell has 
put into verse, in his late volume. But I did not sec 
those wild woods ; only such as suggest little roman- 
ces of love and sorrow, like this : 


A maiden sat beneath the tree, 
Tear-bedewed her pale cheeks be, 
And she sigheth heavily. 

From forth the wood into the light, 
A hunter strides with carol light, 
And a glance so bold and bright. 

He careless stopped and eyed the maid ; 
" Why weepest thou ? " he gently said, 
" I love thee well ; be not afraid." 

He takes her hand, and leads her on ; 
She should have waited there alone, 
For he was not her chosen one. 

He leans her head upon his breast, 
She knew 't was not her home of rest, 
But ah ! she had been sore distrest. 

The sacred stars looked sadly down ; 
The parting moon appeared to frown, 
To see thus dimmed the diamond crown. 

Then from the thicket starts a deer, 
The huntsman, seizing on his spear, 
Cries, " Maiden, wait thou for me here." 

She sees him vanish into night, 

She starts from sleep in deep affright, 

For it was not her own true knight. 

Though but in dream Gunhilda failed ; 
Though but a fancied ill assailed, 
Though she but fancied fault bewailed. 


Yet thought of day makes dream of night : 
She is not worthy of the knight, 
The inmost altar burns not bright. 

If loneliness thou canst not bear, 
Cannot the dragon's venom dare, 
Of the pure meed thou shouldst despair. 

Now sadder that lone maiden sighs, 
Far bitterer tears profane her eyes, 
Crushed in the dust her heart's flower lies. 

On the bank of Silver Lake we saw an Indian en- 
campment. A shower threatened us, but we resolved 
to try if we could not visit it before it came on. 
We crossed a wide field on foot, and found them 
amid the trees on a shelving bank ; just as we reached 
them the rain began to fall in torrents, with frequent 
thunder claps, and we had to take refuge in their 
lodges. These were very small, being for temporary 
use, and we crowded the occupants much, among 
whom were several sick, on the damp ground, or 
with only a ragged mat between them and it. But 
they showed all the gentle courtesy which marks them 
towards the stranger, who stands in any need ; though 
it was .obvious that the visit, which inconvenienced 
them, could only have been caused by the most im- 
pertinent curiosity, they made us as comfortable as 
their extreme poverty permitted. They seemed to 
think we would not like to touch them : a sick girl 
in the lodge where I was, persisted in moving so as to 
give me the dry place ; a woman with the sweet 
melancholy eye of the race, kept ofT the children and 
wet dogs from even the hem of my garment. 


Without, their fires smouldered, and black kettles, 
hung over them on sticks, smoked and seethed in the 
rain. An old theatrical looking Indian stood with 
arms folded, looking up to the heavens, from which 
the rain dashed and the thunder reverberated ; his 
air was French-Roman, that is, more romanesque than 
Pvoman. The Indian ponies, much excited, kept career- 
ing through the wood, around the encampment, and 
now and then halting suddenly, would thrust in their 
intelligent, though amazed, phizzes, as if to ask their 
masters when this awful pother would cease, and then, 
after a moment, rush and trample off again. 

At last wej^ot off, well wetted, but with a pictur- 
esque scene for memory. At a house where we 
stopped to get dry, they told us that this wandering 
band (of Pottawattamies,) who had returned on a 
visit, either from homesickness, or need of relief, 
were extremely destitute. The women had been 
there to see if they could barter their head bands 
with which they club their hair behind into a form 
not unlike a Grecian knot, for food. They seemed, 
indeed, to have neither food, utensils, clothes, nor 
bedding ; nothing but the ground, the sky, and their 
own strength. Little wonder if they drove off the 
game ! 

Part of the same band I had seen in Milwaukie, on 
a begging dance. The effect of this was wild and 
grotesque. They wore much paint and feather 
head-dresses. " Indians without paint are poor 
coots," said a gentleman who had been a great deal 
with, and really liked, them ; and I like the effect of 
the paint on them ; it reminds of the gay fantasies 


of nature. With them in MUwaukie, was a chief, the 
finest Indian figure I saw. more than six feet in height, 
erect, and of a sullen, but grand gait and gesture. 
He wore a deep red blanket, which fell in large folds 
from his shoulders to his feet, did not join in the 
dance, but slowly strode about through the sheets, 
a fine sight, not a French-Roman, but a real Roman, 
lie looked unhappy, but listlessly unhappy, as if lie 
felt it was of no use to strive or resist. 

While in the neighborhood of these lakes, we visit- 
ed also a foreign settlement of great interest. Here 
were minds, it seemed, to "comprehend the trusts," 
of their new life ; and if they can only stand true to 
them, will derive and bestow great benefits therefrom. 

But sad and sickening: to the enthusiast who comes 
to these shores, hoping the tranquil enjoyment of in- 
tellectual blessings, and the pure happiness of mutual 
love, must be a part of the scene that he encounters at 
first. lie has escaped from the heartlessncss of 
courts, to encounter the vulgarity of a mob; he has 
secured solitude, but it is a lonely, a deserted solitude. 
Amid the abundance of nature he cannot, from petty, 
but insuperable obstacles, procure, for a long time, 
comforts, or a home. 

But let him come sufficiently armed with patience 
to learn the new spells which the new dragons re- 
quire, (and this can only be done on the spot,) he 
will not finally be disappointed of the promised tieas- 
urc ; the mob will resolve itself into men, yet crude, 
but of good dispositions, and capable of good charac- 
ter ; the solitude will become sulficiently enlivened 
and home grow up at last from the rich sod. 


In this transition state we found one of these 
homes. As we approached it seemed the very Eden 
which earth might still afford to a pair willing to 
give up the hackneyed pleasures of the world, for a 
better and more intimate communion with one another 
and with beauty : the wild road led through wide 
beautiful woods, to the wilder and more beautiful 
shores of the finest lake we saw. On its waters, 
glittering in the morning sun, a few Indians were 
paddling to and fro in their light canoes. On one of 
those fair knolls I have so often mentioned, stood the 
cottage, beneath trees which stooped as if they yet 
felt brotherhood with its roof tree. Flowers waved, 
birds fluttered round, all had the sweetness of a 
happy seclusion ; all invited on entrance to cry, 
All hail ye happy ones ! to those who inhabited it. 

But on entrance to those evidently rich in personal 
beauty, talents, love, and courage, the aspect of 
things was rather sad. Sickness had been with them, 
death, care, and labor ; these had not yet blighted 
them, but had turned their gay smiles grave. It 
seemed that hope and joy had given place to reso- 
lution. How much, too, was there in them, worthless 
in this place, which would have been so valuable else- 
where. Refined graces, cultivated powers, shine in 
vain before field laborers, as laborers are in this pre- 
sent world ; you might as well cultivate heliotropes 
to present to an ox. Oxen and heliotropes are both 
good, but not for one another. 

With them were some of the old means of enjoy- 
ment, the books, the pencil, the guitar ; but where the 
wash-tub and the axe are so constantly in requisition, 


there is not much time and pliancy of hand for 

In the inner room the master of the house was 
seated ; he had been sitting there long, for he had 
injured his foot on ship-board, and his farming had to 
be done by proxy. His beautiful young wife was his 
onlv attendant and nurse, as well as a farm house- 
keeper ; how well she performed hard and unac- 
customed duties, the objects of her care shewed ; 
everything that belonged to the house was rude but 
neatly arranged ; the invalid, confined to an uneasy 
wooilen chair, (they had not been able to induce any 
one to bring them an easy chair from the town,) look- 
ed as neat and elegant as if he had been dressed by 
the valet of a duke. He was of northern blood, with 
clear full blue eyes, calm features, a tempering of the 
soldier, scholar, and man of the world, in his aspect ; 
whether that various intercourses had given himself 
that thorough-bred look never seen in Americans, or 
that it was inherited from a race who had known all 
these disciplines. He formed a great but pleasing 
contrast to his wife, whose glowing complexion and 
dark mellow eye bespoke an origin in some climate 
more familiar with the sun. He looked as if he could 
sit there a great while patiently, and live on his own 
mind, biding his time ; she, as if she could bear any- 
thing for affection's sake, but would feel the weight 
of each moment as it passed. 

Seeing the album full of drawings and verses 
which bespoke the circle of elegant and atlectionate 
intercourse they had left behind, we could not but see 
that the young wife sometimes must need a sister, the 


husband a companion, and both must often miss that 
electricity which sparkles from the chain of congenial 

For man, a position is desirable in some degree 
proportioned to his education. Mr. Birkbeck was 
bred a farmer, but these were nurslings of the court 
and city ; they may persevere, for an affectionate 
courage shone in their eyes, and, if so, become true 
lords of the soil, and informing geniuses to those 
around ; then, perhaps, they will feel that they have 
not paid too dear for the tormented independence of 
the new settler's life. But, generally, damask roses 
will not thrive in the wood, and a ruder growth, if 
healthy and pure, we wish rather to see there. 

I feel very differently about these foreigners from 
Americans ; American men and women are inexcusable 
if they do not bring up children so as to be fit for vicissi- 
tudes ; that is the meaning of our star, that here all men 
being free and equal, all should be fitted for freedom 
and an independence by his own resources wherever 
the changeful wave of our mighty stream may take 
him. But the star of Europe brought a different 
horoscope, and to mix destinies breaks the thread of 
both. The Arabian horse will not plough well, nor 
can the plough-horse be rode to play the jereed. But 
a man is a man wherever he goes, and something 
precious cannot fail to be gained by one who knows 
how to abide by a resolution of any kind, and pay 
the cost without a murmur. 

Returning, the fine carriage at last fulfilled its 
threat of breaking down. We took refuge in a farm 
house. Here was a pleasant scene. A rich and 


beautiful estate, several happy families, who had re- 
moved together, and formed a natural community, 
ready to help and enliven one another. They were 
farmers at home, in western New York, and both 
men and women knew how to work. Yet even here 
the women did not like the change, but they were 
willing, "as it might be best for the young folks.** 
Their hospitality was great, the housefull of women 
and pretty children seemed all of one mind. 

Returning to Milwaukie much fatigued, I enter- 
tained myself for a day or two with reading. The 
book I had brought with me was in strong contrast 
with the life around me. Very strange was this 
vision of an exalted and sensitive existence, which 
seemed to invade the next sphere, in contract with 
the spontaneous, instinctive life, so healthy and so 
near the ground I had been surveying. This was 
the ( ici man book entitled : 

Die Scherin von Prevorst. — Eroilnungcn fiber das 
innerc Leben des Menschen und iibcr das hereinragen 
eincr Geisterwelt in die unsere. Mitgetheilt von Jus- 
tinus Kerner. 

The Sceress of Prevorst. — Revelations concerning 
the inward life of man, and the projection of a world 
of spirits into oursj communicated by Jnstinus Kerner", 

This book, published in Germany some twelve years 
since, and which called forth then- plenteous dews of 
admiration, as plenteous hail-storms of jeers and scorns. 
I never saw mentioned till some year or two since, in 
any English publication. Then a playful, but not 
sarcastic account of it, in the Dublin Magazine, so far 
excited my curiosity that I procured the book intend* 


insr to read it so soon as I should have some leisure 
days, such as this journey has afforded. 

Dr. Kerner, its author, is a man of distinction in 
his native land, both as a physician and a thinker, 
though always on the side of reverence, marvel, and 
mysticism. He was known to me only through two 
or three little poems of his in Catholic legends, which 
I much admired for the fine sense they showed of the 
beauty of symbols. 

He here gives a biography, mental and physical, of 
one of the most remarkable cases of high nervous ex- 
citement that the age, so interested in such, yet 
affords, with all its phenomena of clairvoyance and 
susceptibility of magnetic influences. I insert some 
account of this biography at the request of many who 
have been interested by slight references to it. The 
book, a thick and heavy volume, written with true 
German patience, some would say clumsiness, has 
not, probably, and may not be translated into other 
languages. As to my own mental position on these 
subjects it may be briefly expressed by a dialogue be- 
tween several persons who honor me with a portion 
of friendly confidence and of criticism, and myself 
expressed as Free Hope. The others may be styled 
Old Church, Good Sense, and Self-Poise. 

Good Sense. I wonder you can take any interest in 
such observations or experiments. Don't you see how 
almost impossible it is to make them with any exact- 
ness, how entirely impossible to know anything about 
them unless made by yourself, when the least leaven 
of credulity, excited fancy, to say nothing of willing 


or careless imposture, spoils the whole loaf. Beside, 
allowing the possibility of some clear glimpses into a 
higher state of being, what do we want of it now? 
All around us lies what we neither understand nor 
use. Our capacities, our instincts for this our present 
sphere are but half developed. Let us confine our- 
selves to that till the lesson be learned ; let us be com- 
pletely natural, before we trouble ourselves with the 
supernatural. I never see any of these things but I 
long to get away and lie under a green tree and let 
the wind blow on me. There is marvel and charm 
enough in that for me. 

Free Hope. And for me also. Nothing is truer 
than the Wordsworthian creed, on which Carlyle lays 
such stress, that we need only look on the miracle of 
every day, to sate ourselves with thought and admira- 
tion every day. But how are our faculties sharpened 
to do it? Precisely by apprehending the infinite re- 
sults of every day. 

Who sees the meaning of the flower uprooted in 
the ploughed field ? The ploughman who does not 
look beyond its boundaries and does not raise his 
eyes from the ground: No — but the poet who 

s that field in its relations with the universe, and 
looks oftcner to the sky than on the ground. Only 
the dreamer shall understand realities, though, in 
truth, his dreaming must not be out of proportion 
to his waking ! 

The mind, roused powerfully by this cxistcm 
stretches of itself into what the French sage calls the 
" aromal state." From the hope thus gleaned ii forms 
the hypothesis, under whose banner it collects its facts. 


Long before these slight attempts were made to 
establish as a science what is at present called animal 
magnetism, always, in fact men were occupied more 
or less with this vital principle, principle of flux and 
influx, dynamic of our mental mechanics, human 
phase of electricity. Poetic observation was pure, 
there was no quackery in its free course, as there is 
so often in this wilful tampering with the hidden 
springs of life, for it is tampering unless done in a 
patient spirit and with severe truth ; yet it may be, by 
the rude or greedy miners, some good ore is unearthed. 
And some there are who work in the true temper, 
patient and accurate in trial, not rushing to conclu- 
sions, feeling there is a mystery, not eager to call it 
by name, till they can know it as a reality : such may 
learn, such may teach. 

Subject to the sudden revelations, the breaks in 
habitual existence caused by the aspect of death, the 
touch of love, the flood of music, I never lived, that 
I remember, what you call a common natuial day. 
All my days are touched by the supernatural, for I 
feel the pressure of hidden causes, and the presence, 
sometimes the communion, of unseen powers. It 
needs not that I should ask the clairvoyant whether 
" a spirit-world projects into ours." As to the spe- 
cific evidence, I would not tarnish my mind by hasty 
reception. ' The mind is not, I know, a highway, 
but a temple, and its doors should not be care- 
lessly left open. Yet it were sin, if indolence 
or coldness excluded what had a claim to enter ; 
and I doubt whether, in the eyes of pure intelli- 
gence, an ill-grounded hasty rejection be not a 


greater sign of weakness than an ill-grounded and 
hasty faith 

I will quote, as my best plea, the saying of a man 
old in years, but not in heart, and whose long life has 
been distinguished by that clear adaptation of means to 
ends which gives the credit of practical wisdom, lie 
wrote to his child, " I have lived too long, and seen too 
much to be incredulous." Noble the thought, no 
less so its frank expression, instead of saws of cau- 
tion, mean advices, and other modern instances. 
Such was the romance of Socrates when he bade his 
disciples " sacrifice a cock to yEsculapius." 

Old Church. You are always so quick-witted and 
voluble, Free Hope, you don't get time to see how 
often you err, and even, perhaps, sin and blaspheme. 
The Author of all has intended to confine our knowl- 
edge within certain boundaries, has given us a short 
span of time for a certain probation, for which our 
faculties are adapted. By wild speculation and in- 
temperate curiosity we violate his will and incur dan- 

rous, perhaps fatal, consequences. We waste our 
powers, and. becoming morbid and visionary, are un- 
fitted to obey positive precepts, and perform positive 

Free Hope. I do not see how it is possible to go 
further beyond the results of a limited human expe- 
rience than those do who pretend to settle the origin 
and nature of sin, the final destiny of souls, and the 
whole* plan of the causal spirit with regard to them. 
I think those who take your view, have not examined 
themselves, and do not know the ground on which 
they stand. 


I acknowledge no limit, set up by man's opinion, 
as to the capacities of man! " Care is taken," I see 
it, " that the trees grow not up into heaven," but, to 
me it seems, the more vigorously they aspire the bet- 
ter. Only let it be a vigorous, not a partial or sickly 
aspiration. Let not the tree forget its root. 

So long as the child insists on knowing where its 
dead parent is, so long as bright eyes weep at myste- 
rious pressures, too heavy for the life, so long as that 
impulse is constantly arising which made the Roman 
emperor address his soul in a strain of such touching 
softness, vanishing from the thought, as the column of 
smoke from the eye, I know of no inquiry which the 
impulse of man suggests that is forbidden to the res- 
olution of man to pursue. In every inquiry, unless 
sustained by a pure and reverent spirit, he gropes in 
the dark, or falls headlong. 

Self-Poise. All this may be very true, but what 
is the use of all this straining? Far-sought is dear- 
bought. When we know that all is in each, and that 
the ordinary contains the extraordinary, why should 
we play the baby, and insist upon having the moon 
for a toy when a tin dish will do as well. Our deep 
ignorance is a chasm that we can only fill up by de- 
grees, but the commonest rubbish will help us as 
well as shred silk. The God Brahma, while on 
earth, was set to fill up a valley, but he had only a 
basket given him in which to fetch earth for this pur- 
pose ; so is it with us all. No leaps, no starts will 
avail us, by patient crystallization alone the equal 
temper of wisdom is attainable. Sit at home and the 
spirit-world will look in at your window with moonlit 


eyes : runout to find it, and rainbow and -olden cup 
will have vanished and left you the beggarly child vou 
were. The better part of wisdom is a sublime pru- 
dence, a pure and patient truth that will receive no- 
thing it is not sure it can permanently lay to heart. 
Of our study there should be in proportion two-thirds 
of rejection to one of acceptance. And, amid the 
manifold infatuations and illusions of this world of 
emotion, a being capable of clear intelligence can do 
no better service than to hold himself upright, avoid 
nonsense, and do what chores lie in his way, acknowl- 
edging every moment that primal truth, which no fact 
exhibits, nor, if pressed by too warm a hope, will even 
indicate. I think, indeed, it is part of our lesson to 
give a formal consent to what is farcical, and to pick 
up our living and our virtue amid what is so ridicu- 
lous, hardly deigning a smile, and certainly not vexed. 
The work is done through all, if not by every one. 

Free Hope. Thou art greatly wise, my friend, and 
ever respected by me, yet I find not in your theory 
or your scope, room enough for the lyric inspirations, 
or the mysterious whispers of life. To me it seems 
that it is madder never to abandon oneself, than often 
to be infatuated ; better to be wounded, a captive, and 
a slave, than always to walk in armor. A< to mag- 
netism, that is only a matter of fancy. ^ OU ><»me- 
times need just such a field in which to wander va- 
grant, and if it bear a higher name, yet it may be 
that, in last result, the trance of Pythagoras might 
be classed with the more infantine transports of the 
Seeress of Prevorst. 

What is done interests me more than what is 


thought and supposed. Every fact is impure, but 
every fact contains in it the juices of life. Every 
fact is a clod, from which may grow an amaranth or 
a palm. 

Do you climb the snowy peaks from whence come 
the streams, where the atmosphere is rare, where you 
can see the sky nearer, from which you can get a 
commanding view of the landscape. I see great dis- 
advantages as well as advantages in this dignified po- 
sition. I had rather walk myself through all kinds of 
places, even at the risk of being robbed in the forest, 
half drowned at the ford, and covered with dust in 
the street. 

I would beat with the living heart of the world, 
and understand all the moods, even the fancies or 
fantasies, of nature. I dare to trust to the interpret- 
ing spirit to bring me out all right at last — to estab- 
lish truth through error. 

Whether this be the best way is of no consequence, 
if it be the one individual character points out. 

For one, like me, it would be vain 

From glittering heights the eyes to strain ; 

I the truth can only know, 

Tested hy life's most fiery glow. 

Seeds of thought will never thrive 

Till dews of love shall bid them live. 

Let me stand in my age with all its waters flowing 
round me. If they sometimes subdue, they must 
finally upbear me, for I seek the universal — and that 
must be the best. 

The Spirit, no doubt, leads in every movement of 
my time : if I seek the How, I shall find it, as well 
as if I busied myself more with the Why. 


Whatever is, is right, if only men are steadily bent to 

make it so, by comprehending and fulfilling its design*. 

May not I have an office, too, in my hospitality 

and ready sympathy? If I sometimes entertain 
guests who cannot pay with gold coin, with '-fair 
rose nobles," that is better than to lose the chance of 
entertaining angels unawares. 

You, my three friends, are held in heart-honor, by 
me. You, especially, Good-Sense, because whore 
you do not go yourself, you do not object to another's 
going, if he will. You. are really liberal. You, Old 
Church, are of use, by keeping unforgot the effigies 
of old religion, and reviving the tone of pure Spen- 
serian sentiment, which this time is apt to stifle in its 
childish haste. But you arc very faulty in censuring 
and wishing to limit others by your own standard. 
You, Self-Poise, fill a priestly office. Could but a 
larger intelligence of the vocations of others, and a 
tender sympathy with their individual natures be 
added, had you more of love, or more of apprehen- 
sive genius, (for either would give you the needed 
expansion and delicacy) you would command my 
entire reverence. As it is, I must at times deny and 
oppose you* and so must others, for you tend, by 
your influence, to exclude us from our full, free life. 
We must be content when you censure, and rejoiced 
when you approve ; always admonished to good by 
your whole being, and sometimes by your judgment 
And so I pass on to interest myself and others in the 
memoir of the Seherin von Prevorst. 

Aside from Lovvenstein, a town of Wirtemlxi 
on mountains whose highest summit is more than 


eighteen hundred feet above the level of the sea, lies 
in romantic seclusion, surrounded on all sides by 
woods and hills, the hamlet of Prevorst. 

Its inhabitants number about four hundred and fifty, 
most of whom support themselves by wood-cutting, 
and making charcoal, and collecting wood seed. 

As is usual with those who live upon the moun- 
tains, these are a vigorous race, and generally live to 
old age without sickness. Diseases that infest the 
valley, such as ague, never touch them ; but they are 
subject in youth to attacks upon the nerves, which 
one would not expect in so healthy a class. In a 
town situated near to, and like Prevorst, the child- 
ren were often attacked with a kind of St. Vitus's 
dance. They would foresee when it would seize 
upon them, and, if in the field, would hasten home 
to undergo the paroxysms there. From these they 
rose, as from magnetic sleep, without memory of what 
had happened. 

Other symptoms show the inhabitants of this re- 
gion very susceptible to magnetic and sidereal influ- 

On this mountain, and indeed in the hamlet of 
Prevorst, was, in 1801, a woman born, in whom a 
peculiar inner life discovered itself from early child- 
hood. Frederica Hauffe, whose father was game- 
keeper of this district of forest, was, as the position 
and solitude of her birthplace made natural, brought 
up in the most simple manner. In the keen moun- 
tain air and long winter cold, she was not softened 
by tenderness either as to dress or bedding, but grew 
up lively and blooming ; and while her brothers and 


sisters, under the same circumstances, were subject to 
rheumatic attacks, she remained free from them. On 
the other hand, her peculiar tendency displayed itself 
in her dreams. If anything affected her painfully, if 
her mind was excited by reproof, she had instructive 
warning, or prophetic dreams. 

While yet quite young, her parents let her go, for 
the advantages of instruction, to her grand-father, Jo- 
hann Schmidgall, in Lowenstein. 

Here were discovered in her the sensibility to mag- 
netic and ghostly influences, which, the good Kerner 
assures us, her grand-parents deeply lamented, and 
did all in their power to repress. But, as it appears 
that her grandfather, also, had seen a ghost, and 
there were evidently legends in existence about the 
rooms in which the little Frederika saw ghosts, and 
spots where the presence of human bones caused her 
sudden shivering, we may be allowed to doubt whether 
indirect influence was not more powerful than direct 
repression upon these subjects. 

There is the true German impartiality with regard 
to the scene of appearance for these imposing visiters ; 
sometimes it is " a room in the Castle of Lowenstein, 
bug disused."' B la Radcliile, sometimes " a desert. ,1 

This " solemn, unhappy gift," brought no distur- 
bance to the childish life of the maiden, she enjoyed 
life with more vivacity than most of her companion* 
The only trouble she bad was the extreme irritability 
of the optic nerve, which, though without inflamma- 
tion of the eyes, sometimes confined her to a soli- 
tary chamber. " This," says Dr. K. M was probably a 


sign of the development of the spiritual in the fleshly 

Sickness of her parents at last called her back to 
the lonely Prevorst, where, by trouble and watching 
beside sick beds, her feelings were too much excited, 
so that the faculty for prophetic dreams and the vision 
of spirits increased upon her. 

From her seventeenth to her nineteenth year, 
when every outward relation was pleasant for her, 
this inward life was not so active, and she was distin- 
guished from other girls of her circle only by the 
more intellectual nature, which displayed itself chiefly 
in the eyes, and by a greater liveliness which, however, 
never passed the bounds of grace and propriety. 

She had none of the sentimentality so common at 
that age, and it can be proved that she had never an 
attachment, nor was disappointed in love, as has been 
groundlessly asserted. 

In her nineteenth year, she was by her family be- 
trothed to Heir H. The match was desirable on 
account of the excellence of the man, and the sure 
provision it aflbrded for her comfort through life. 

But, whether from presentiment of the years of 
suffering that were before her, or from other hidden 
feelings, of which we only know with certainty that, 
if such there were, they were not occasioned by an- 
other attachment, she sank into a dejection, inexpli- 
cable to her family ; passed whole days in weeping ; 
scarcely slept for some weeks, and thus the life of feel- 
ing which had been too powerful in her childhood was 
called up anew in full force. 

On the day of her solemn betrothal, took place, 


also, the funeral of T., the preacher of Oberstcnfeld, 
a man of sixty and more years, whose preaching, in- 
struction, and character, (he was goodness itself,) had 
had great influence upon her life. She followed the 
dear remains, with others, to the church-yard. Her 
heart till then so heavy, was suddenly relieved and 
calmed, as she stood beside the grave. She remain- 
ed there long, enjoying her new peace, and when she 
went away found herself tranquil, but indifferent to 
all the concerns of this world. Here began the pe- 
riod, not indeed as yet of sickness, but of her pecu- 
liar inward life, which knew afterward no pause. 

Later, in somnambulic state, she spoke of this day 
in the following verses. The deceased had often ap- 
peared to her as a shape of light, protecting her from 
evil spirits. 

(These are little simple rhymes ; they are not 
worth translating into verse, though, in the original, 
they have a childish grace.) 

What was once so dark to me, 
I gee now clearly. 
In that day 

When I had given in marriage myself away, 

I stood quite immersed in thee, 

Thou angel figure above thy grave mound. 

Willingly would 1 have exchanged with th< 

Willingly given up to thee my earthly luck, 
Which those around praised as the blessing of heaven. 

I prayed upon thy grave 
For one blessing only, 


That the wings of this angel 
Miffht henceforward 
On the hot path of life, 
Waft around me the peace of heaven. 
There standest thou, angel, now: my prayer was heard. 

She was, in consequence of her marriage, removed 
to Kiirnbach, a place on the borders of Wurtemberg 
and Baden. Its position is low, gloomy, shut in by 
hills ; opposite in all the influences of earth and 
atmosphere to those of Prevorst and its vicinity. 

Those of electrical susceptibility are often made 
sick or well by change of place. Papponi, (of whom 
Amoretti writes,) a man of such susceptibility, was 
cured of convulsive attacks by change of place. 
Pennet could find repose while in one part of Cala- 
bria, only by wrapping himself in an oil-cloth mantle, 
thus, as it were, isolating himself. That great sense 
of sidereal and imponderable influences, which after- 
ward manifested itself so clearly in the Seherin, pro- 
bably made this change of place very unfavorable to 
her. Later, it appeared, that the lower she came 
down from the hills, the more she suffered from 
spasms, but on the heights her tendency to the mag- 
netic state was the greatest. 

But also mental influences were hostile to her. 
Already withdrawn from the outward life, she was 
placed, where, as consort and housekeeper to a labor- 
ing man, the calls on her care and attention were in- 
cessant. She was obliged hourly to forsake her inner 
home, to provide for an outer, which did not corres- 
pond with it. 

She bore this seven months, • though flying to soli- 


tilde, whenever outward relations permitted. But 
longer it was not possible to conceal the inward verity 
by an outward action, " the body sank beneath the 
attempt, and the spirit took refuge in the inner circle." 

One niirht she dreamed that she awoke and found 
the dead body of the preacher T. by her side ; that at 
the same time her father, and two physicians were 
considering what should be done for her in a severe 
sickness. She called out that " the dead friend would 
help her; she needed no physician." Her husband, 
hearing her cry out in sleep, woke her. 

This dream was presage of a fever, which seized 
her next morning. It lasted fourteen days with great 
violence, and was succeeded by attacks of convulsion 
and spasm. This was the beginning of that state of 
bodily Buffering and mental exaltation in which she 
passed the remaining seven years of her life. 

She seems to have been very injudiciously treated 
in the first stages of her illness. Bleeding was re- 
sorted to, as usual in cases of extreme suffering where 
the nurses know not what else to do, and, as usual, 
the momentary relief was paid for by an increased 
nervousness, and capacity for suffering. 

Magnetic influences from other persons were of 
frequent use to her, but they were applied without 
care as to what characters and constitutions were 
brought into connexion with hers, and were probably 
ID the end just as injurious to her as the loss of blood. 
At last she became so weak, so devoid of all power 
in herself, that her life seemed entirely dependent on 
artificial means and the influence of other men. 

There is a singular story of a woman in the neigh- 


borhood, who visited her once or twice, apparently 
from an instinct that she should injure her, and after- 
wards, interfered in the same way, and with the 
same results, in the treatment of her child. 

This demoniacal impulse and power, which were 
ascribed to the Canidias of ancient superstition, may 
be seen subtly influencing the members of every-day 
society. We see persons led, by an uneasy impulse, 
towards the persons and the topics where they are 
sure they can irritate and annoy. This is constantly 
observable among children, also in the closest relations 
between grown up people who have not yet the gov- 
ernment of themselves, neither are governed by the 
better power. 

There is also an interesting story of a quack who 
treated her with amulets, whose parallel may be found 
in the action of such persons in common society. It 
is an expression of the power that a vulgar and self- 
willed nature will attain over one delicate, poetical, 
but not yet clear within itself; outwardly it yields to 
a power which it inwardly disclaims. 

A touching little passage is related of a time in the 
first years, when she seemed to be better, so much so 
as to receive an evening visit from some female friends. 
They grew merry and began to dance ; she remained 
sad and thoughtful. When they stopped, she was in 
the attitude of prayer. One of her intimates, observ- 
ing this, began to laugh. This affected her so much, 
that she became cold and rigid like a corpse. For 
some time they did not hear her breathe, and, when she 
did, it was with a rattling noise. They applied mus- 
tard poultices, and used foot and hand baths ; she was 


brought back to life, but to a state of great suffer- 


She recognized as her guardian spirit, who some- 
times magnetized her or removed from her neighbor- 
hood substances that were hurtful to her, her grand- 
mother ; thus coinciding with the popular opinion that 
traits reappear in the third generation. 

Now began still greater wonders ; the second sight, 
numerous and various visits from spirits and so. forth. 

The following may be mentioned in connection 
with theories and experiments current among our- 
selves. . . . 

" A friend, who was often with her at this time, 
wrote to me (Kcrner) : When I, with my finger, 
touch her on the forehead between the eyebrows, she 
says each time something that bears upon the state of 
my soul. Some of these sentences I record. 

" Keep thy soul so that thou mayst bear it in thy 

" When thou comest into a world of bustle and 
folly, hold the Lord fast in thy heart." 

" If any seek to veil from thee thy true feeling, 
pray to God for grace." 

" Permit not thyself to stifle the light that springs 
up within thyself." 

" Think often of the cross of Jesus ; go forth and 
embrace it." 

" As the dove found a resting-place in Noah's ark, 
so wilt thou, also, find a resting-place which God has 
appointed for thee." 

When she was put under the care of Kemer, she 


had been five years in this state, and was reduced to 
such weakness, that she was, with difficulty, sustained 
from hour to hour. 

He thought at first it would be best to take no no- 
tice of her magnetic states and directions, and told 
her he should not, but should treat her with regard 
to her bodily symptoms, as he would any other in- 

" At this time she fell every evening into magnetic 
sleep, and gave orders about herself ; to which, how- 
ever, those round her no longer paid attention. 

I was now called in. I had never seen this 
woman, but had heard many false or perverted ac- 
counts of her condition. I must confess that I shared 
the evil opinion of the world as to her illness ; that I 
advised to pay no attention to her magnetic situation, 
and the orders she gave in it ; in her spasms, to for- 
bear the laying of hands upon her ; to deny her the 
support of persons of stronger nerves ; in short, to 
do all possible to draw her out of the magnetic state, 
and to treat her with attention, but with absolutely 
none but the common medical means. 

These views were shared by my friend, Dr. Off, of 
Lowenstein, who continued to treat her accordingly. 
But without good results. Hemorrhage, spasms, 
night-sweats continued. Her gums were scorbutic- 
ally affected, and bled constantly ; she lost all her 
teeth. Strengthening remedies affected her like be- 
ing drawn up from her bed by force ; she sank into 
a fear of all men, and a deadly weakness. Her death 
was to be wished, but it came not. Her relations, in 
despair, not knowing themselves what they could do 


with her, brought her, almost against my will, to me 
at Weinsburg. 

She was brought hither an image of death, per- 
fectly emaciated, unable to raise herself. Every three 
or four minutes, a tcaspoonful of nourishment must 
be given her, else she fell into faintness or convulsion. 
Her somnambulic situation alternated with fever, 
hemorrhage, and night-sweats. Every evening, about 
seven o'clock, she fell into magnetic sleep. She then 
spread out her arms, and found herself, from t hut 
moment, in a clairvoyant state ; but only when she 
brought them back upon her breast, did she begin to 
speak. (Kernel mentions that her child, too. slept 
with its hands and feet crossed.) In this state her 
eves were shut, her face calm and bright. v I she 
fell asleep, the first night after her arrival, she asked 
for me, but I bade them tell her that 1 now. and in 
future, should speak to her only when awake. 

After she awoke. I went to her and declared, in 
brief and earnest terms, that I should pay no atten- 
tion to what she said in sleep, and that her somaanv 
bulic state, which had lasted so long to the gri< f and 
trouble of her family, must now come to an end. 
This declaration I accompanied by an earnest appeal, 
designed to awaken a firm will in her to put down 
the excessive activity of brain that disordered her 
whole system. Afterwards, no address was made to 
her on any subject when in her sleep-waking state. 
She was left to lie unheeded. I pursued a hmnn-o- 
pathic treatment of her case. But the medicines 
constantly produced effects opposite to what I ex- 
pected. She now suffered less from spasm and som- 


nambulism, but with increasing marks of weakness 
and decay.. All seemed as if the end of her suffer- 
ings drew near. It was too late for the means I 
wished to use. Affected so variously and powerfully 
by magnetic means in the first years of her illness, 
she .had now no life more, so thoroughly was the force 
of her own organization exhausted, but what she bor- 
rowed from others. In her now more infrequent 
magnetic trance, she was always seeking the true 
means of her cure. It was touching to see how, re- 
tiring within herself, she sought for help. The phy- 
sician who had aided her so little with his drugs, must 
often stand abashed before this inner physician, per- 
ceiving it to be far better skilled than himself." . 

After some weeks forbearance, Kerner did ask her in 
her sleep what he should do for her. She prescribed 
a magnetic treatment, which was found of use. Af- 
terwards, she described a machine, of which there is 
a drawing in this book, which she wished to have 
made for her use ; it was so, and she. derived benefit 
from it. She had indicated such a machine in the 
early stages of her disease, but at that time no one 
attended to her. By degrees she grew better under 
this, treatment, and lived at Weinsberg, nearly two 
years, though in a state of great weakness, and more 
in the magnetic and clairvoyant than in the natural 
human state. 

How his acquaintance with her affected the phy- 
sician, he thus expresses : 

" During those last months of her abode on the 
earth, there remained to her only the life of a sylph. 
I have been interested to record, not a. journal of her 


sickness, but the mental phenomena of such an 
almost disembodied life. Such may east light on the 
period when also our Psyche may unfold her wings, 
free from bodily bonds, and the hindrances of space 
and lime. I give facts; each reader may interpret 
them in his own way. 

The manuals of animal magnetism and other 
writings have proposed many theories by winch to ex- 
plain such. All these are known to me. I shall 
make no reference to them, but only, by use of par- 
allel facts here and there, show that the phenomena 
of this case recall many in which there is nothing 
marvellous, but which are manifestly grounded in our 
common existence. Such apparitions cannot too fre- 
quently, if only for moments, flash across that com- 
mon existence, as electric lights from the higher 

Fran II. was, previous to my magnetic treatment, 
in so deep a somnambulic life, that she was, in fact, 
never rightly awake, even when she seemed to be ; or 
rather, let us say, she was at all times more awake 
than others are ; for it is strange to term sleep this 
state which is just that of the clearest wakefulness. 
Better to say she was immersed in the inward state. 

In this state and the consequent excitement of the 
nerves, she had almost wholly lost organic force, and 
received it only by transmission from those of stronger 
condition, principally from their eyes and the ends 
of the fingers. The atmosphere and nerve communi- 
cations of others, said she, bring me the life which I 
need ; they do not feel it ; these effusions on which 
I live, would flow from them and be lost, if my nerves 



did not attract them ; only in this way can I 

She often assured us that others did not suffer by 
loss of what they imparted to her ; but it cannot be 
denied that persons were weakened by constant in- 
tercourse with her, suffered from contraction in the 
limbs, trembling, &c. They were weakened also in 
the eyes and pit of the stomach. From those related 
to her by blood, she could draw more benefit than 
from others, and, when very weak, from them only ; 
probably on account of a natural affinity of tempera- 
ment. She could not bear to have around her 
nervous and sick persons ; those from whom she 
could gain nothing made her weaker. 

Even so it is remarked that flowers soon lose their 
beauty near the sick, and suffer peculiarly under 
the contact or care of some persons. 

Other physicians, beside myself, can vouch that 
the presence of some persons affected her as a pabu- 
lum vitse, while, if left with certain others or alone, 
she was sure to grow weaker. 

From the air, too, she seemed to draw a peculiar 
ethereal nourishment of the same sort ; she could 
not remain without an open window in the severest 
cold of winter. 1 

The spirit of things, about which we have no per- 
ception, was sensible to her, and had influence on 
her ; she showed this sense of the spirit of metals, 
plants, animals, and men. Imponderable existences, 

1 Near us, this last winter, a person who suffered, and finally died, 
from spasms like those of the Seherin, also found relief from having the 
windows open, while the cold occasioned great suffering to his attendants. 


such as the various colors of the ray, showed distinct 
influences upon her. The electric fluid was visible 
and sensible to her when it was not to us. Yea ! 
what is incredible ! even the written words of men 
she could discriminate by touch. 1 

These experiments are detailed under their several 
heads in the book. 

From her eyes flowed a peculiar spiritual light 
which impressed even those who saw her for a very 
short time. She was in each relation more spirit 
than human. 

Should we compare her with anything human, we 
would say she was as one detained at the moment of 
dissolution, betwixt life and death ; and who is better 
able to discern the aflairs of the world that lies before, 
than that behind him. 

She was often in situations when one who had, like 
her, the power of discerning spirits, would have seen 
her own free from the body, which at all times envel- 
oped it only as a light veil. She saw herself often out 
of the body ; saw herself double. She would say, " I 
seem out of myself, hover above my body, and think 
of it as something apart from myself. But it is not a 
pleasant feeling, because I still sympathize with my 
body. If only my soul were bound more firmly to 
the nerve-spirit, it might be bound more closely with 
the nerves themselves ; but the bond of my nerve- 
spirit is always becoming looser." 

She makes a distinction between spirit as the pure 
intelligence ; soul, the ideal of this individual man ; and 
nerve-spirit, the dynamic of his temporal existence- 

I Facts of the same kind are asserted of late among ourselves, and 
believed, though " incredible." 


Of this feeling of double identity, an invalid, now- 
wasting under nervous disease, often speaks to me. 
He has it w 7 hen he first awakes from sleep. Blake, 
the painter, whose life was almost as much a series of 
trances as that of our Seherin, in his designs of the 
Resurrection, represents spirits as rising from, or 
hovering over, their bodies in the same way. 

Often she seemed quite freed from her body, and 
to have no more sense of its weight. 

As to artificial culture, or dressing, (dressur,) Frau H. 
had nothing of it. She had learned no foreign tongue, 
neither history, nor geography, nor natural philosophy, 
nor any other of those branches now imparted to those 
of her sex in their schools. The Bible and hymn-book 
were, especially in the long years of her sickness, her 
only reading : her moral character was throughout 
blameless ; she w T as pious without fanaticism. Even 
her long suffering, and the peculiar manner of it, she 
recognized as the grace of God ; as she expresses in 
the following verses : 

Great God ! how great is thy goodness, 
To me thou hast given faith and love, 
Holding me firm in the distress of my sufferings. 

In the darkness of my sorrow, 
I was so far led away, 
As to beg for peace in speedy death. 

But then came to me the mighty strong faith ; 
Hope came ; and came eternal love ; 
They shut my earthly eyelids. 
When, O bliss ! 


Dead lies my bodily frame, 
But in the inmost mind a light burns up, 
Such as none knows in the waking life. 
Is it a light ? no ! but a sun of grace ! 

Often in the sense of her sufferings, while in the 
magnetic trance, she made prayers in verse, of which 
this is one : 

Father, hear me ! 

Hear my prayer and supplication. 

Father, I implore thee, 
Let not thy child perish ! 

Look on my anguish, my tears. 

Shed hope into my heart, and still its longing, 
Father, on thee I call ; have pity I 
Take something from me, the sick one, the poor one. 

Father, I leave thee not, 

Though sickness and pain consume me. 

If I the spring's light, 
See only through the mist of tears, 

Father, I leave thee not. 

These verses lose their merit of a touching sim- 
plicity in an unrhymed translation ; but they will serve 
to show the habitual temper of her mind. 

" As I was a maker of verses," continues Dr. Ker- 
ner, " it was easy to say, Frau II. derived this talent 
from my magnetic influence ; but she made these 
little verses before she came under my care." Not 
without deep significance was Apollo distinguished as 
being at once the God of poesy, of prophecy, and the 



medical art. Sleep-waking develops the powers 
of seeing, healing, and poesy. How nobly the 
ancients understood the inner life ; how fully is 
it indicated in their mysteries ? 

I know a peasant maiden, who cannot write, 
but who, in the magnetic state, speaks in measur- 
ed verse. 

Galen was indebted to his nightly dreams for a part 
of his medical knowledge. 

The calumnies spread about Frau H. were many 
and gross ; this she w T ell knew. As one day she heard 
so many of these as to be much affected by them, we 
thought she. would express her feelings that night in 
the magnetic sleep, but she only said " they can affect 
my body, but not my spirit." Her mind, raised above 
such assaults by the consciousness of innocence, 
maintained its tranquillity and dwelt solely on spirit- 
ual matters. 

Once in her sleep-waking she wrote thus : 

When the world declares of me 
Such cruel ill in calumny, 
And to your ears it finds a way, 
Do you believe it, yea or nay ? 

I answered : 

To us thou seemest true and pure, 
Let ethers view it as they will ; 
We have our assurance still 

If our own sight can make us sure. 

People of all kinds, to my great trouble, were 
always pressing to see her. If we refused them ac- 


cess to the sick room, they avenged themselves by 
the invention of all kinds of falsehoods. 

She met all with an equal friendliness, even when 
it cost her bodily pain, and those who defamed her, 
she often defended. There came to her both good 
and bad men. She felt the evil in men clearly, but 
would not censure; lifted up a stone to cast at no sin- 
ner, but was rather likely to awake, in the faulty beings 
she suffered near her, faith in a spiritual life which 
might make them better. 

Years before she was brought to me, the earth, 
with its atmosphere, and all that is about and upon 
it, human beings not excepted, was no more for her. 
She needed, not only a magnetizer, not only a love, 
an earnestness, an insight, such as scarce lies within 
the capacity of any man, but also what no mortal 
could bestow upon her, another heaven, other means 
of nourishment, other air than that of this earth. 
She belonged to the world of spirits, living here her- 
self, as more than half spirit She belonged to the 
state after death, into which she had advanced more 
than half way. 

It is possible she might have been brought back 
to an adaptation for this world in the second or 
third year of her malady ; but, in the fifth, no mode of 
treatment could have effected this. But by care she 
was aided to a greater harmony and clearness of the 
inward life ; she enjoyed at Weinsberg, as she after 
said, the richest and happiest days of this life, and to 
us her abode here remains a point of light. 

As to her outward form, we have already said it 
seemed but a thin veil about her spirit. She was 


little, her features of an oriental cast, her eye had the 
penetrating look of a seer's eye, which was set off by 
the shade of long dark eyelashes. She was a light 
flower that only lived on rays. 

Eschenmayer writes thus of her in his " Mysteries." 

" Her natural state was a mild, friendly earnestness, 
always disposed to prayer and devotion ; her eye had 
a highly spiritual expression, and remained, notwith- 
standing her great sufferings, always bright and clear. 
Her look was penetrating, would quickly change in 
the conversation, seem to give forth sparks, and remain 
fixed on some one place, — this was a token that some 
strange apparition fettered it, — then would she re- 
sume the conversation. When I first saw her, she 
was in a situation which showed that her bodily life 
could not long endure, and that recovery to the com- 
mon natural state was quite impossible. Without 
visible derangement of the functions, her life seemed 
only a wick glimmering in the socket. She was, as 
Kerner truly describes her, like one arrested in the 
act of dying and detained in the body by magnetic 
influences. Spirit and soul seemed often divided, 
and the spirit to have taken up its abode in other re- 
gions, while the soul was yet bound to the body." 

I have given these extracts as being happily ex- 
pressive of the relation between the physician and 
the clairvoyant, also of her character. 

It seems to have been one of singular gentleness, 
and grateful piety, simple and pure, but not at all 
one from which we should expect extraordinary de- 
velopment of brain in any way ; yet the excitement 
of her temperament from climate, scenery, the influ- 


ence of traditions which evidently flowed round her, 
and a great constitutional impressibility did develop 
in her brain the germs both of poetic creation and 

I say poetic creation, for, to my mind, the ghosts 
she saw were projections of herself into objective re- 
ality. The Hades she imagines is based in fact, 
for it is one of souls, who, having neglected their 
opportunities for better life, find themselves left for- 
lorn, helpless, seeking aid from beings still ignorant 
and prejudiced, perhaps much below themselves in 
natural powers. Having forfeited their chance of 
direct access to God, they seek mediation from 
.the prayers of men. But in the coloring and dress 1 
of these ghosts, as also in their manner and mode 
of speech, there is a great deal which seems merely 
fanciful — local and peculiar. 

To me, these interviews represent only prophecies 
of her mind ; yet, considered in this way, they are, if 
not ghostly, spiritual facts of high beauty, and which 
cast light on the state of the soul after its separation 
from the body. Her gentle patience with them, her 
steady reference to a higher cause, her pure joy, 
when they became white in the light of happiness 
obtained through aspiration, arc worthy of a more 
than half enfranchised angel. 

As to the stories of mental correspondence and 
visits to those still engaged in this world, such as are 
told of her presentiment of her father's death, and 
connexion with him in the last moments, these are 

1 The women ghosts all wear veils, put on the vny admired by the 
Italian poets, of whom, however, she could know nothing. 


probably pure facts. Those who have sufficient 
strength of affection to be easily disengaged from 
external impressions and habits, and who dare trust 
their mental impulses are familiar with such. 

Her invention of a language seems a simply natu- 
ral motion of the mind when left to itself. The 
language we habitually use is so broken, and so 
hackneyed by ages of conventional use, that, in all 
deep states of being, we crave one simple and primi- 
tive in its stead. Most persons make one more or 
less clear from looks, tones, and symbols : — this wo- 
man, in the long leisure of her loneliness, and a mind 
bent upon itself, attempted to compose one of letters 
and words. I look upon it as no gift from without, 
but a growth from her own mind. 

Her invention of a machine, of which she made a 
drawing, her power of drawing correctly her life-cir- 
cle, and sun-circle, and the mathematical feeling she 
had of her existence, in correspondent sections of 
the two, are also valuable as mental facts. These 
figures describe her history and exemplify the posi- 
tion of mathematics toward the world of creative 

Every fact of mental existence ought to be capable 
of similar demonstration. I attach no especial im- 
portance to her circles : — we all live in such ; all 
who observe themselves have the same sense of ex- 
actness and harmony in the revolutions of their des- 
tiny. But few attend to what is simple and invaria- 
ble in the motions of their minds, and still fewer 
seek out means clearly to express them to others. 

Goethe has taken up these facts in his Wander- 


jahre, where he speaks of his Maearia ; also, one of 
these persons who are compensated for bodily in- 
firmity by a more concentrated and acute state of 
mind, and consequent accesses of wisdom, as being 
bound to a star. When she was engaged by a sense 
of these larger revolutions, she seemed to those near 
her on the earth, to be sick ; when she was, in fact, 
lower, but better adapted to the details and variations 
of an earthly life, these said she was well. Mac- 
aria knew the sun and life circles, also, the lives of 
spirit and soul, as did the forester's daughter of Pre- 

Her power of making little verses was one of her 
least gifts. Many excitable persons possess this ta- 
lent at versification, as all may possess it. It is 
merely that a certain exaltation of feeling raises the 
mode of expression with it, in the same way as song 
differs from speech. Verses of this sort do not 
necessarily demand the high faculties that constitute 
the poet, — the creative powers. Many verses, good 
ones, are personal or national merely. Ballads, hymns, 
love-lyrics, have often no claim differing from those 
of common prose speech, to the title of poems, ex- 
cept a greater keenness and terseness of expression. 

The verses of this Seherin are of the simplest 
character, the natural garb for the sighs or aspirations 
of a lonely heart. She uses the shortest words, the 
commonest rhymes, and the verses move us by their 
nature and truth alone. 

The most interesting of these facts to me, arc her 
impressions from minerals and plants. Her impres- 
sions coincide with many ancient superstitions. 


The hazel woke her immediately and gave her 
more power, therefore the witch with her hazel wand, 
probably found herself superior to those around her. 
We may also mention, in reference to witchcraft, that 
Dr. K. asserts that, in certain moods of mind, she had 
no weight, but was upborne upon water, like cork, 
thus confirming the propriety, and justice of our fore- 
fathers' ordeal for witchcraft ! 

The laurel produced on her the highest magnetic 
effect, therefore the Sibyls had good reasons for 
wearing it on their brows. 

u The laurel had on her, as on most sleep-wakers, 
a distinguished magnetic effect. We thus see why 
the priestess at Delphi, previous to uttering her ora- 
cles, shook a laurel tree, and then seated herself on a 
tripod covered with laurel boughs. In the temple of 
iEsculapius, and others, the laurel was used to excite 
sleep and dream." 

From grapes she declared impressions, which cor- 
responded with those caused by the wines made from 
them. Many kinds were given her, one after the 
other, by the person who raised them, and who gives 
a certificate as to the accuracy of her impressions, 
and his belief that she could not have derived them 
from any cause, but that of the touch. 

She prescribed vegetable substances to be used in 
her machine, (as a kind of vapor bath,) and with good 
results to herself. 

She enjoyed contact with minerals, deriving from 
those she liked a sense of concentrated life. Her 
impressions of the precious stones, corresponded with 
many superstitions of the ancients, which led to the 


preference of certain gems for amulets, on which 
they had engraved talismanic figures. 

The ancients, in addition to their sense of the 
qualities that distinguish the diamond above all gems, 
venerated it as a talisman against wild beasts, poison, 
and evil spiiits, thus expressing the natural influence of 
what is so enduring, bright, and pure. Townshend, 
speaking of the effect of gems on one of his slcep- 
wakers, said, she loved the diamond so much that she 
would lean her forehead towards it, whenever it was 
brought near her. 

It is observable that these sleep-wakers, in their 
prescriptions, resemble the ancient sages, who culled 
only simples for the sick. But if they have this fine 
sense, also, for the qualities of animal and mineral 
substances, there is no reason why they should not 
turn bane to antidote, and prescribe at least homeo- 
pathic doses of poison, to restore the diseased to 

The Seherin ascribed different states to the right 
and left sides of every body, even of the lady moon. 
The left is most impressible. Query : Is this the 
reason why the left hand has been, by the custom of 
nations, so almost disused, because the heart is on the 
left side ? 

She also saw different sights in the left from the 
right eye. In the left, the bodily state of the person ; 
in the right, his real or destined self, how often un- 
known to himself, almost always obscured or pervert- 
ed by his present ignorance or mistake. She had 
also the gift of second sight. She saw the coffins of 




those about to die. She saw in mirrors, cups of wa- 
ter ; in soap-bubbles, the coming future. 

We are here reminded of many beautiful supersti- 
tions and legends ; of the secret pool in which the 
daring may, at mid-moon of night, read the future ; 
of the magic globe, on whose pure surface Britomart 
sees her future love, whom she must seek, arrayed in 
knightly armor, through a difficult and hostile world. 

A looking-glass, right wondrously aguized, 
Whose virtues through the wyde world soon were sol- 

It vertue had to show in perfect sight, 
Whatever thing was in the world contayned, 

Betwixt the lowest earth and hevens hight ; 
So that it to the looker appertayned, 

Whatever foe had wrought, or friend had fayned, 
Herein discovered was, ne ought mote pas, 

Ne ought in secret from the same remayned ; 
Forthy it round and hollow shaped was, 
Like to the world itselfe, and seemed a World of Glas. 

Faerie Queene, Book III. 

Such mirrors had Cornelius Agrippa and other 
wizards. The soap-bubble is such a globe ; only 
one had need of second sight or double sight to see 
the pictures on so transitory a mirror. Perhaps it is 
some vague expectation of such wonders, that makes 
us so fond of blowing them in childish years. But, 
perhaps, it is rather as a prelude to the occupation 
of our lives, blowing bubbles where all things may 


be seen, that, " to the looker appertain," if we can 
keep them long enough or look quick enough. 

In short, were this biography of no other value, it 
would be most interesting as showing how the float- 
ing belief of nations, always no doubt shadowing 
forth in its imperfect fashion the poetic facts with 
their scientific exposition, is found to grow up anew 
in a simple, but high-wrought nature. 

The fashioning spirit, working upwards from the 
clod to man, proffers as its last, highest essay, the 
brain of man. In the lowest zoophyte it aimed at 
this; some faint rudiments may there be discerned: 
but only in man has it perfected that immense gal- 
vanic battery that can be loaded from above, below, 
and around ; — that engine, not only of perception, 
but of conception and consecutive thought, — whose 
right hand is memory, whoso life is idea, the crown 
of nature, the platform from which spirit takes wing. 

Yet, as gradation is the beautiful secret of nature, 
and the fashioning spirit, which loves to develop and 
transcend, loves no less to moderate, to modulate, 
and harmonize, it did not mean by thus drawing 
man onward to the next state of existence, to destroy 
his fitness for this. It did not mean to destroy his 
sympathies with the mineral, vegetable, and animal 
realm-, of whose components he is in great part 
composed; which were the preface to his being, of 
whom lie is to take count, whom he should govern 
as a reasoning head of a perfectly arranged body. 
He was meant to be the historian, the philosopher, 
the poet, the king of this world, no less than the 
prophet of the next. 


These functions should be in equipoise, and when 
they are not, when we see excess either on the natu- 
ral (so called as distinguished from the spiritual,) or 
the spiritual side, we feel that the law is transgressed. 
And, if it be the greatest sorrow to see brain merged 
in body, to see a man more hands or feet than head, 
so that we feel he might, with propriety, be on all 
fours again, or even crawl like the serpent ; it is also 
sad to see the brain, too much excited on some one 
side, which we call madness, or even unduly and 
prematurely, so as to destroy in its bloom, the com- 
mon human existence of the person, as in the case 
before us, and others of the poetical and prophetical 

We would rather minds should foresee less and see 
more surely, that death should ensue by gentler gra- 
dation, and the brain be the governor and interpreter, 
rather than the destroyer, of the animal life. But, in 
cases like this, where the animal life is prematurely 
broken up, and the brain prematurely exercised, we 
may as well learn what we can from it, and believe 
that the glimpses thus caught, if not as precious as 
the full view, are bright with the same light, and 
open to the same scene. 

There is a family character about all the German 
ghosts. We find the same features in these stories 
as in those related by Jung Stilling and others. 
They bear the same character as the pictures by the 
old masters, of a deep and simple piety. She stands 
before as, this piety, in a full, high-necked robe, a 
simple, hausfrauish cap, a clear, straightforward blue 
eye. These are no terrible, gloomy ghosts with 


Spanish mantle or Italian dagger. We feel quite at 
home with them, and sure of their good faith. 

To the Sehcrin, they were a real society, constantly 
inspiring good thoughts. The reference to them 
in these verses, written in her journal shortly before 
her death, is affecting, and shows her deep sense of 
their reality. She must have felt that she had been 
a true friend to them, by refusing always, as she did, 
requests she thought wrong, and referring them to a 

Farewell, my friends, 
All farewell, 

God bless you for your love — 
Bless you for your goodness. 
All farewell I 

And you, how shall I name you ? 

Who have so saddened me, 
I will name you also — Friends; 
You have been discipline to me. 

Farewell ! farewell ! 

Farewell ! you my dear ones, 
Soon will you know ' 
How hard have been my sufferings 
In the Pilgrim land. 
Farewell ! 

Let it not grieve you, 
That my woes find an end ; 

i The physician thought she here referred to the examination of her 
body that would lake plan- ali.r her death. The brain was found to be 
sound, though there were marks of great disease elsewhere. 



Farewell, dear ones, 
Till the second meeting ; 
Farewell ! Farewell ! 

In this journal her thoughts dwell much upon those 
natural ties which she was not permitted to enjoy. 
She thought much of her children, and often fancied 
she had saw the one who had died, growing in the 
spirit land. Any allusion to them called a sweet 
smile on her face when in her trance. 

Other interesting poems are records of these often 
beautiful visions, especially of that preceding her own 
death ; the address to her life-circle, the thought of 
which is truly great, (this was translated in the Dublin 
Magazine,) and descriptions of her earthly state as an 
impiisonment. The story of her life, though stained 
like others, by partialities, and prejudices, which were 
not justly distinguished from what was altogether true 
and fair, is a poem of so pure a music, presents such 
gentle and holy images, that we sympathize fully in 
the love and gratitude Kerner and his friends felt 
towards her, as the friend of their best life. She was 
a St. Theresa in her way. 

His address to her, with which his volume closes, 
may thus be translated in homely guise. In the ori- 
ginal it has no merit, except as utteiing his affection- 
ate and reverent feeling towards his patient, the 
peasant girl, — "the sick one, the poor one." But 
we like to see how 7 , from the mouths of babes and 
sucklings, praise may be so perfected as to command 
this reverence from the learned and worldly-wise. 


Farewell ; the debt I owe thee 

Ever in heart I bear ; 
My soul sees, since I know thee, 

The spirit depths so clear. 

Whether in light or shade, 

Thy soul now dwelling hath ; 
Be, if my faith should fade, 

The guide upon my path. 

Li vest thou in mutual power, 

With spirits blest and bright, 
O be, in death's dark hour, 

My help to heaven's light. 

Upon thy grave is growing, 

The plant by thee beloved, 1 
St. Johns-wort golden glowing, 

Like St. John's thoughts of love. 

Witness of sacred sorrow, 

Whene'er thou meet'st my eye, 

O rlower, from thee I borrow, 
Thoughts for eternity. 

Farewell ! the woes of earth 

No more my soul affright ; 
Who knows their temporal birth 

Can easy bear their weight. 

I do confess this is a paraphrase, not a translation, 
also, that in the other extracts, I have taken liberties 

1 She received great benefit from decoctions of this herb, and often 
prescribed it to others. 


with the original for the sake of condensation, and 
clearness. What I have written must be received as 
a slight and conversational account of the work. 

Two or three other remarks, I had forgotten, may 
come in here. 

The glances at the spirit-world have none of that 
large or universal significance, none of that value from 
philosophical analogy, that is felt in any picture by 
Svvedenborg, or Dante, of permanent relations. The 
mind of the forester's daughter was exalted and 
rapidly developed ; still the wild cherry tree bore 
no orange ; she was not transformed into a philo- 
sophic or poetic organization. 

Yet many of her untaught notions remind of 
other seers of a larger scope. She, too, receives 
this life as one link in a long chain ; and thinks that 
immediately after death, the meaning of the past life 
will appear to us as one word. 

She tends to a belief in the aromal state, and in 
successive existences on this earth ; for behind per- 
sons she often saw another being, whether their form 
in the state before or after this, I know not ; behind 
a woman a man, equipped for fight, and so forth. 
Her perception of character, even in cases of those 
whom she saw only as they passed her window, was 

Kerner aims many a leaden sarcasm at those who 
despise his credulity. He speaks of those sages as 
men whose brain is a glass table, incapable of receiv- 
ing the electric spark, and who will not believe, be- 
cause, in their mental isolation, they are incapable of 
feeling these facts. 



Certainly, I think he would be dull, who could see 
no meaning or beauty in the history of the forester's 
daughter of Prevorst. She lived but nine-and-twenty 
pears, yet, in that time, had traversed a larger portion 
of the Held of thought than all her race before, in their 
many and long lives. 

Of the abuses to which all these magical imple- 
ments are prone, I have an instance, since leaving 
Mihvaukie, in the journal of a man equally sincere, 
but not equally inspired, led from Germany hither by 
signs and wonders, as a commissioned agent of Prov- 
idence, who, indeed, has arranged every detail of his 
life with a minuteness far beyond the promised care 
of the sparrow. He props himself by spiritual aid 
from a maiden now in this country, who was once an 
attendant on the Sccress, and who seems to have 
caught from her the contagion of trance, but not its 

Do not blame me that I have written so much 
about Germany and Hades, while you were looking 
for news of the West. Here, on the pier, I see dis- 
embarking the Germans, the Norwegians, the Swedes, 
the Swiss. Who knows how much of old legendary 
lore, of modern wonder, they have already planted 
amid the Wisconsin forests ? Soon, soon their tales 
of the origin of things, and the Providence which 
rules them, will be so mingled with those of the In- 
dian, that the very <>ak trees will not know them 
apart, — will not know whether itself be a ltunic, a 
Druid, or a Winnebago oak. 


Some seeds of all growths that have ever been 
known in this world might, no doubt, already be 
found in these Western wilds, if we had the power 
to call them to life. 

I saw, in the newspaper, that the American Tract 
Society boasted of their agents' having exchanged, at a 
Western cabin door, tracts for the Devil on Two Sticks, 
and then burnt that more entertaining than edify- 
ing volume. No wonder, though, they study it there. 
Could one but have the gift of reading the dreams 
dreamed by men of such various birth, various his- 
tory, various mind, it would afford much more exten- 
sive amusement than did the chambers of one Span- 
ish city ! 

Could I but have flown at night through such men- 
tal experiences, instead of being shut up in my little 
bedroom at the Milwaukie boarding house, this chap- 
ter would have been worth reading. As it is, let us 
hasten to a close. 

Had I been rich in money, I might have built a 
house, or set up in business, during my fortnight's 
stay at Milwaukie, matters move on there at so rapid a 
rate. But, being only rich in curiosity, I was obliged 
to walk the streets and pick up what I could in cas- 
ual intercourse. When I left the street, indeed, and 
walked on the bluffs, or sat beside the lake in their 
shadow, my mind was rich in dreams congenial to the 
scene, some time to be realized, though not by me. 

A boat was left, keel up, half on the sand, half in 
the water, swaying with each swell of the lake. It 
gave a picturesque grace to that part of the shore, as 
the only image of inaction — only object of a pensive 


character to be seen. Near this I sat, to dream my 
dreams and watch the colors of the lake, changing 
hourly, till the sun sank. These hours yielded im- 
pulses, wove webs, such as life will not again a fiord. 

Returning to the boarding house, which was also a 
boarding school, we were sure to be greeted by gay 

This school was conducted by two girls of nine- 
teen and seventeen years ; their pupils were nearly 
as old as themselves ; the relation seemed very pleas- 
ant between them. The only superiority — that of 
superior knowledge — was sufficient to maintain au- 
thority — all the authority that was needed to keep 
daily life in good order. 

In the West, people are not respected merely be- 
cause they are old in years ; people there have not 
time to keep up appearances in that way ; when they 
cease to have a real advantage in wisdom, knowledge, 
or enterprise, they must stand back, and let those 
who are oldest in character " go ahead," however few 
years they may count. There are no banks of estab- 
lished respectability in which to bury the talent there ; 
no napkin of precedent in which to wrap it. What 
cannot be made to pass current, is not esteemed coin 
of the realm. 

To the windows of this house, where the daughter 
of a famous " Indian fighter," i. e. fighter against the 
Indians, was learning French and the piano, came 
wild, tawny figures, offering for sale their baskets of 
berries. The boys now, instead of brandishing the 
tomahawk, tame their hands to pick raspberries. 

Here the evenings were much lightened by the 


gay chat of one of the party, who, with the excellent 
practical sense of mature experience, and the kindest 
heart, united a naivete and innocence such as I 
never saw in any other who had walked so long 
life's tangled path. Like a child, she was every- 
where at home, and like a child, received and be- 
stowed entertainment from all places, all persons. I 
thanked her for making me laugh, as did the sick and 
poor, whom she was sure to find out in her briefest 
sojourn in any place, for more substantial aid. Hap- 
py are those who never grieve, and so often aid and 
enliven their fellow men ! 

This scene, however, I was not sorry to exchange 
for the much celebrated beauties of the Island of 



Late at night we reached this island, so famous 
for its beauty, and to which I proposed a visit of 
some length. It was the last week in August, when 
a large representation from the Chippewa and Otto- 
wa tribes arc here to receive their annual payments 
from the American government. As their habits 
make travelling easy and inexpensive to them, nei- 
ther being obliged to wait for steamboats, or write to 
see whether hotels are full, they come hither by 
thousands, and those thousands in families, secure of 
accommodation on the beach, and food from the 
lake, to make a long holiday out of the occasion. 
There were near two thousand encamped on the 
island already, and more arriving every day. 

As our boat came in, the captain had some rockets 
let off. This greatly excited the Indians, and their 
yells and wild cries resounded along the shore. Ex- 
cept for the momentary flash of the rockets, it was 
perfectly dark, and my sensations as I walked with a 
stranger to a strange hotel, through the midst of 



these shrieking savages, and heard the pants and 
snorts of the departing steamer, which carried away 
all my companions, were somewhat of the dismal 
sort ; though it was pleasant, too, in the way that 
everything strange is ; everything that breaks in upon 
the routine that so easily incrusts us. 

I had reason to expect a room to myself at the 
hotel, but found none, and was obliged to take up 
my rest in the common parlor and eating-room, a cir- 
cumstance which ensured my being an early riser. 

With the first rosy streak, I was out among my 
Indian neighbors, whose lodges honey-combed the 
beautiful beach, that curved away in long, fair outline 
on either side the house. They were already on the 
alert, the children creeping out from beneath the 
blanket door of the lodge ; the women pounding 
corn in their rude mortars, the young men playing 
on their pipes. I had been much amused, when the 
strain proper to the Winnebago courting flute was 
played to me on another instrument, at any one fan- 
cying it a melody ; but now, when I heard the notes 
in their true tone and time, I thought it not unwor- 
thy comparison, in its graceful sequence, and the light 
flourish, at the close, with the sweetest bird-songs ; 
and this, like the bird-song, is only practised to allure 
a mate. The Indian, become a citizen and a hus- 
band, no more thinks of playing the flute than one 
of the " settled down " members of our society would 
of choosing the " purple light of love " as dye-stuff 
for a surtout. 

Mackinaw has been fully described by able pens, 
and I can only add my tribute to the exceeding 


beauty of the spot and its position. It is charming 
to be on an island so small that you can sail round 
it in an afternoon, yet lame enough to admit of long 
secluded walks through its gentle groves. You can 
go round it in your boat ; or, on foot, you can tread 
its narrow beach, resting, at times, beneath the lofty 
walls of stone, richly wooded, which rise from it in 
various architectural forms. In this stone, caves are 
continually forming, from the action of the atmos- 
phere ; one of these is quite deep, and with a frag- 
ment left at its mouth, wreathed with little creeping 
plants, that looks, as you sit within, like a ruined 

The arched rock surprised me, much as I had 
heard of it, from the perfection of the arch. It is 
perfect whether you look up through it from the 
lake, or down through it to the transparent waters. 
We both ascended and descended, no very easy mat- 
ter, the steep and crumbling path, and rested at the 
summit, beneath the trees, and at the foot upon the 
cool mossy stones beside the lapsing wave. Nature 
lias carefully decorated all this architecture with shrubs 
that take root within the crevices, and small creep- 
ing vines. These natural ruins may vie for beauti- 
ful effect with the remains of European grandeur, 
and have, beside, a charm as of a playful mood in 

The sugar-loaf rock is a fragment in the same kind 
as the pine rock we saw in Illinois. It has the same 
air of a helmet, as seen from an eminence at the 
side, which you descend by along and Bleep path. 
The rock itself may be ascended by the bold and 


agile. Half way up is a niche, to which those, who 
are neither, can climb by a ladder. A very handsome 
young officer and lady who were with us did so, and 
then, facing round, stood there side by side, looking 
in the niche, if not like saints or angels wrought by 
pious hands in stone, as romantically, if not as holily, 
worthy the gazer's eye. 

The woods which adorn the central ridge of the 
island are very full in foliage, and, in August, showed 
the tender green and pliant leaf of June elsewhere. 
They are rich in beautiful mosses and the wild rasp- 

From Fort Holmes, the old fort, we had the most 
commanding view of the lake and straits, opposite 
shores, and fair islets. Mackinaw, itself, is best seen 
from the water. Its peculiar shape is supposed to 
have been the origin of its name, Michilimackinac, 
which means the Great Turtle. One person whom I 
saw, wished to establish another etymology, which 
he fancied to be more refined ; but, I doubt not, this 
is the true one, both because the shape might suggest 
such a name, and that the existence of an island in 
this commanding position, which did so, would seem 
a significant fact to the Indians. For Henry gives 
the details of peculiar worship paid to the Great Tur- 
tle, and the oracles received from this extraordinary 
Apollo of the Indian Delphos. 

It is crowned most picturesquely, by the white fort, 
with its gay flag. From this, on one side, stretches 
the town. How pleasing a sight, after the raw, 
crude, staring assemblage of houses, everywhere else 
to be met in this country, an old French town, mel- 


low in its coloring, and with the harmonious effect of 
a slow growth, which assimilates, naturally, with ob- 
jects round it. The people in its streets, Indian, 
French, half-breeds, and others, walked with a leisure 
step, as of those who live a life of taste and inclina- 
tion, rather than of the hard press of business, as in 
American towns elsewhere. 

On the other side, along the fair, curving beach, 
below the white houses scattered on the declivity, 
clustered the Indian lodges, with their amber brown 
matting, so soft, and bright of hue, in the late after- 
noon sun. The first afternoon I was there, looking 
down from a near height, I felt that I never wished 
to see a more fascinating picture. It was an hour of 
the deepest serenity ; bright blue and gold, rich 
shadows. Every moment the sunlight fell more mel- 
low. The Indians were grouped and scattered among 
the lodges ; the women preparing food, in the kettle 
or frying-pan, over the many small fires ; the child- 
ren, half-naked, wild as little goblins, were playing 
both in and out of the water. Here and there 
lounged a young girl, with a baby at her back, whose 
bright eyes glanced, as if born into a world of cour- 
age and of joy, instead of ignominious servitude and 
slow decay. Some girls were cutting wood, a little 
way from me, talking and laughing, in the low musi- 
cal tone, so charming in the Indian women. Many 
bark canoes were upturned upon the beach, and, by 
that light, of almost the same amber as the lodges. 
Others, coming in, their square sails set, and with 
almost arrowy speed, though heavily laden with 
dusky forms, and all the apparatus of their house- 



hold. Here and there a sail-boat glided by, with a 
different, but scarce less pleasing motion. 

It was a scene of ideal loveliness, and these wild 
forms adorned it, as looking so at home in it. All 
seemed happy, and they were happy that day, for 
they had no firewater to madden them, as it was Sun- 
day, and the shops were shut. 

From my window, at the boarding house, my eye 
was constantly attracted by these picturesque groups. 
I was never tired of seeing the canoes come in, and 
the new arrivals set up their temporary dwellings. 
The women ran to set up the tent-poles, and spread 
the mats on the ground. The men brought the 
chests, kettles, &c. ; the mats were then laid on the 
outside, the cedar boughs strewed on the ground, the 
blanket hung up for a door, and all was completed in 
less than twenty minutes. Then they began to pre- 
pare the night meal, and to learn of their neighbors 
the news of the day. 

The habit of preparing food out of doors, gave all 
the gipsy charm and variety to their conduct. Con- 
tinuallv I wanted Sir Walter Scott to have been 
there. If such romantic sketches were suggested 
to him, by the sight of a few gipsies, not a group 
near one of these fires but would have furnished him 
material for a separate canvass. 1 was so taken up 
with the spirit of the scene, that I could not follow 
out the stories suggested by these weather-beaten, 
sullen, but eloquent figures. 

They talked a great deal, and with much variety 
of gesture, so that I often had a good guess at the 
moaning of their discourse. I saw that, whatever the 

MACKINAW. 17-") 

Indian may bo among the whites, lie is anything but 
taciturn with his own people. And he often would 

declaim, or narrate at length, as indeed it is obvious, 
thai these tribes poss jreal power that way. if 
only from the fables taken from their stores, by Mr. 

I liked very much to walk or sit among them. 
With the women I held much communication by 
Blgns. They are almost invariably coarse and Ugly, 
with the exception of their eyes, with a peculiarly 
awkward gait, and forms bent by burthens. This gait. 
so different from the steady and noble step of the men. 
marks the inferior position they occupy. I had heard 
much eloquent contradiction of this. Mrs. School* 
il't had maintained to a friend, that they were in 
fact ; - arly on a par with their husbands as the 
white woman with hers. " Although," said she, " on 
account of inevitable causes, the Indian woman is 
Subjected to many hardships of a peculiar nature, yet 
her position, compared with that of the man, is In-h- 
and freer than thai of the white woman. Why 
will people look only on one side? They cither exalt 
the lied man into a Demigod or degrade him into a 
beast. They say that he compels his wife to do all 
the drudgery, while hedoes nothing but hunt and 
•muse himself; forgetting that, upon his activity and 
power of endurance as a hunter, depends the support 
of his family ; that this is labor of the most fatiguing 
kind, and thai it is absolutely necessary that he should 
keep his frame unbent by burdens and unworn by 
toil, that he may be able to obtain the means of sub- 
sistence. I have witnessed scenes of conjugal and 


parental love in the Indian's wigwam from which I 
have often, often thought the educated white man, 
proud of his superior civilization, might learn an use- 
ful lesson. When he returns from hunting, worn out 
with fatigue, having tasted nothing since dawn, his 
wife, if she is a good wife, will take off his moccasons 
and replace them with dry ones, and will prepare his 
game for their repast, while his children will climb 
upon him, and he will caress them with all the ten- 
derness of a woman ; and in the evening the Indian 
wigwam is the scene of the purest domestic pleasures. 
The father will relate for the amusement of the wife, 
and for the instruction of the children, all the events 
of the day's hunt, while they will treasure up every 
word that falls, and thus learn the theory of the art, 
whose practice is to be the occupation of their lives. 

Mrs. Grant speaks thus of the position of woman 
amid the Mohawk Indians : 

" Lady Mary Montague says, that the court of 
Vienna was the paradise of old women, and that 
there is no other place in the world where a wo- 
man past fifty excites the least interest. Had her 
travels extended to the interior of North America, she 
would have seen another instance of this inversion of 
the common mode of thinking. Here a woman never 
was of consequence, till she had a son old enough to 
fight the battles of his country. From that date she 
held a superior rank in society ; was allowed to live 
at ease, and even called to consultations on national 
affairs. In savage and warlike countries, the reign of 
beauty is very short, and its influence comparatively 
limited. The girls in childhood had a very pleasing 


appearance ; but except hilt their fine hair, eves, and 
teeth, every external grace was soon banished by per- 
petual drudgery, carrying burdens too heavy to be 
borne, and other slavish employments considered be- 
neath the dignity of the men. These walked before 
erect and graceful, decked with ornaments which set 
oif to advantage the symmetry of their well-formed 
persons, while the poor women followed, meanly 
attired, bent under the weight of the children and 
utensils, which they carried everywhere with them, 
and disfigured and degraded by ceaseless toils. They 
were very early married, for a Mohawk had no other 
servant but his wife, and, whenever he commenced 
hunter, it was requisite he should have some one to 
carry his load, cook his kettle, make his moccasons, 
and, above all, produce the young warriors who were 
to succeed him in the honors of the chase and of the 
tomahawk. Wherever man is a mere hunter, woman 
is a mere slave. It is domestic intercourse that soft- 
ens man, and elevates woman ; and of that there can 
be but little, where the employments and amusements 
arc not in common ; the ancient Caledonians honored 
the fair ; but then it is to be observed, they were fair 
huntresses, and moved in the light of their beauty to 
the hill of rocs; and. the culinary toils were entirely 
left to the rougher sex. When the young warrior 
made his appearance, it softened the cares* of his 
mother, who well knew that, when he grew up, every 
deficiency in tenderness to his wife would be made 
up in superabundant duty and affection to her. li it 
were possible to carry filial veneration to excess, it 
was done here ; for all other charities were absorbed 


in it. I wonder this system of depressing the sex in 
their early years, to exalt them when all their juvenile 
attractions were flown, and when mind alone can dis- 
tinguish them, has not occurred to our modern re- 
formers. The Mohawks took good care not to admit 
their women to share their prerogatives, till they ap- 
proved themselves good wives and mothers." 

The observations of women upon the position of 
woman are always more valuable than those of men ; 
but, of these two, Mrs. Grant's seems much nearer the 
truth than Mrs. Schoolcraft's, because, though her 
opportunities for observation did not bring her so close, 
she looked more at both sides to find the truth. 

Carver, in his travels among the Winnebagoes, 
describes two queens, one nominally so, like Queen 
Victoria; the other invested with a genuine royalty, 
springing from her own conduct. 

In the great town of the Winnebagoes, he found 
a queen presiding over the tribe, instead of a sa- 
chem. He adds, that, in some tribes, the descent is 
given to the female line in preference to the male, 
that is, a sister's son will succeed to the authority, 
rather than a brother's son. 

The position of this Winnebago queen, reminded 
me forcibly of Queen A^ictoria's. 

" She sat in the council, but only asked a few ques- 
tions, or gave some trifling directions in matters rela- 
tive to the state, for women are never allowed to sit in 
their councils, except they happen to be invested with 
the supieme authority, and then it is not customary 
for them to make any formal speeches, as the chiefs 
do. She was a very ancient woman, small in stature, 


and not much distinguished by her dress from several 
young women that attended her. These, her attend- 
ants, seemed greatly pleased whenever I showed any 
tokens of respect to their queen, especially when I 
saluted her, which I frequently did to acquire her 

The other was a woman, who being taken captive, 
found means to kill her captor, and make her escape, 
and the tribe were so struck with admiration at the 
courage and calmness she displayed on the occasion, 
as to make her chieftainess in her own right. 

Notwithstanding the homage paid to women, and 
the consequence allowed her in some cases, it is 
impossible to look upon the Indian women, with- 
out feeling that they do occupy a lower place than 
women among the nations of European civilization. 
The habits of drudgery expressed in their form and 
gesture, the soft and wild but melancholy expression 
of their eye, reminded me of the tribe mentioned by 
Mackenzie, where the women destroy their female 
children, whenever they have a good opportunity ; 
and of the eloquent reproaches addressed by the 
Paraguay woman to her mother, that she had not, in 
the same way, saved her from the anguish and weari- 
ness of her lot. 

More weariness than anguish, no doubt, falls to the lot 
of most of these women. They inherit submission, and 
the minds of the generality accommodate themselves 
more or less to any posture. Perhaps they sutler less 
than their white sisters, who have more aspiration and 
refinement, with little power of self-sustenance. But 
their place is certainly lower, and their share of the 
human inheritance less. 


Their decorum and delicacy are striking, and 
show that when these are native to the mind, no 
habits of life make any difference. Their whole ges- 
ture is timid, yet self-possessed. They used to 
crowd round me, to inspect little things I had to 
show them, but never press near ; on the contrary, 
would reprove and keep off the children. Anything 
they took from my hand, was held with care, then 
shut or folded, and returned with an air of lady-like 
precision. They would not stare, however curious 
they might be, but cast sidelong glances. 

A locket that I wore, was an object of untiring in- 
terest ; they seemed to regard it as a talisman. My 
little sun-shade was still more fascinating to them ; 
apparently they had never before seen one. For an 
umbrella they entertain profound regard, probably 
looking upon it as the most luxurious superfluity a 
person can possess, and therefore a badge of great 
wealth. I used to see an old squaw, whose sullied 
skin and coarse, tanned locks^ told that she had 
braved sun and storm, without a doubt or care, for 
sixty years at the least, sitting gravely at the door of 
her lodge, with an old green umbrella over her head, 
happy for hours together in the dignified shade. For 
her happiness pomp came not, as it so often does, too 
late ; she received it with grateful enjoyment. 

One day, as I was seated on one of the canoes, a 
woman came and sat beside me, with her baby in its 
cradle set up at her feet. She asked me by a ges- 
ture, to let her take my sun-shade, and then to show 
her how to open it. Then she put it into her baby's 
hand, and held it over its head, looking at me the 


while with a sweet, mischievous laugh, as much as to 
say, "you carry a thing that is only fit for a baby ;" 
her pantomime was very pretty. She, like the other 
women, had a glance, and shy, sweet expression in 
the eye ; the men have a steady gaze. 

That noblest and loveliest of modern Preux. Lord 
Edward Fitzgerald, who came through BulValo to 
Detroit and Mackinaw, with Brant, and was adopt- 
ed into the Bear tribe by the name of Eghnidal, was 
struck, in the same way, by the delicacy of manners in 
the women. He says, " Notwithstanding the life 
they lead, which would make most women rough and 
masculine, they are as soft, meek and modest, as the 
best brought up girls in England. Somewhat co- 
quettish too ! Imagine the manners of Mimi in a 
poor squaw, that has been carrying packs in the 
woods all her life." 

McKennry mentions that the young wife, during 
the short bloom of her beauty, is an object of homage 
and tenderness to her husband. One Indian woman, 
the Flying Pigeon, a beautiful, an excellent woman, of 
whom he gives some particulars, is an instance of the 
power uncommon characters will always exert of 
breaking down the barriers custom has erected round 
them. She captivated by her charms, and inspired 
with reverence for her character, her husband and 
son. The simple praise with which the husband in- 
dicates the religion, the judgment, and the generosity 
he saw in her, are as satisfying as Count Zinzendorf 's 
more labored eulogium on his " noble consort." The 
conduct of her son, when, many years after her death, 
he saw her picture at Washington, is unspeakably 



affecting. Catlin gives anecdotes of the grief of a 
chief for the loss of a daughter, and the princely gifts 
he offers in exchange for her portrait, worthy not 
merely of European, but of Troubadour sentiment. 
It is also evident that, as Mrs. Schoolcraft says, the 
women have great power at home. It can never be 
otherwise, men being dependent upon them for the 
comfort of their lives. Just so among ourselves, 
wives who are neither esteemed nor loved by their 
husbands, have great power over their conduct by the 
friction of every day, and over the formation of their 
opinions by the daily opportunities so close a relation 
affords, of perverting testimony and instilling doubts. 
But these sentiments should not come in brief flashes, 
but burn as a steady flame, then there would be more 
women worthy to inspire them. This power is good 
for nothing, unless the woman be wise to use it 
aright. Has the Indian, has the white woman, as 
noble a feeling of life and its uses, as religious a self- 
respect, as worthy a field of thought and action, as 
man ? If not, the white woman, the Indian woman, 
occupies an inferior position to that of man. It is 
not so much a question of power, as of privilege. 

The men of these subjugated tribes, now accus- 
tomed to drunkenness and every way degraded, bear 
but a faint impress of the lost grandeur of the race. 
They are no longer strong, tall, or finely proportion- 
ed. Yet as you see them stealing along a height, or 
striding boldly forward, they remind you of what was 
majestic in the red man. 

On the shores of lake Superior, it is said, if you 
visit them at home, you may still see a remnant of 


the noble blood. The Pillagers — (Pilleurs) — a 
band celebrated by the old travellers, arc still exist* 
ant there. 

" Still some, ' the eagles of their tribe,' may rush." 

I have spoken of the hatred felt by the white man 
for the Indian : with white women it seems to amount 
to disgust, to loathing. How I could endure the dirt, 
the peculiar smell of the Indians, and their dwellings, 
was a great marvel in the eyes of my lady acquaint- 
ance ; indeed, I wonder why they did not quite give 
me up, as they certainly looked on me with great dis- 
taste for it. " Get you gone, you Indian dog," was 
the felt, if not the breathed, expression towards the 
hapless owners of the soil. All their claims, all their 
sonows quite forgot, in abhorrence of their dirt, their 
tawny skins, and the vices the whites have taught 

A person who had seen them during great part of 
a life, expressed his prejudices to me with such vio- 
lence, that I was no longer surprised that the Indian 
children threw sticks at him, as he passed. A lady 
said, " do what you will for them, they will be un- 
grateful. The savage cannot be washed out of them. 
Bring up an Indian child and see if you can attach it 
to you." The next moment, she expressed, in the 
presence of one of those children whom she was 
bringing up, loathing at the odor left by one of her 
people, and one of the most respected, as he passed 
through the room. When the child is grown she will 
consider it basely ungrateful not to love her, as it 
certainly will not ; and this will be cited as an instance 
of the impossibility of attaching the Indian. 


Whether the Indian could, by any efforts of love 
and intelligence from the white man, have been civil- 
ized and made a valuable ingredient in the new state, 
I will not say ; but this we are sure of; the French 
Catholics, at least, did not harm them, nor disturb 
their minds merely to corrupt them. The French 
they loved. But the stern Presbyterian, with his 
dogmas and his task-work, the city circle and the 
college, with their niggard concessions and unfeeling 
stare, have never tried the experiment. It has not 
been tried. Our people and our government have 
sinned alike against the first-born of the soil, and if 
they are the fated agents of a new era, they have 
done nothing — have invoked no god to keep them 
sinless while they do the hest of fate. 

Worst of all, when they invoke the holy power only 
to mask their iniquity ; when the felon trader, who, 
all the week, has been besotting and degrading the 
Indian with rum mixed with red pepper, and damaged 
tobacco, kneels with him on Sunday before a com- 
mon altar, to tell the rosary which recalls the thought 
of him crucified for love of suffering men, and to 
listen to sermons in praise of " purity" ! ! 

My savage friends, cries the old fat priest, you 
must, above all things, aim at 'purity. 

Oh, my heart swelled when I saw them in a Chris- 
tian church. Better their own dog-feasts and bloody 
rites than such mockery of that other faith. 

" The dog," said an Indian, " was once a spirit ; 
he has fallen for his sin, and was given by the Great 
Spirit, in this shape, to man, as his most intelligent 
companion. Therefore we sacrifice it in highest 


honor to our friends in this world, — to our protect- 
ing geniuses in another." 

There was religion in that thought. The white 
man sacrifices his own brother, and to Mammon, yet 
he turns in loathing from the dog-feast. 

" You say," said the Indian of the South to the 
missionary, " that Christianity is pleasing to God. 
How can that be ? — Those men at Savannah are 

Yes ! slave-drivers and Indian traders are called 
Christians, and the Indian is to be deemed less like 
the Son of Mary than they ! Wonderful is the de- 
ceit of man's heart ! 

I have not, on seeing something of them in their 
own haunts, found reason to change the sentiments 
expressed in the following lines, when a deputation 
of the Sacs and Foxes visited Boston in 1837, and 
were, by one person at least, received in a dignified 
and courteous manner. 


November, 1837. 

Who says that Poesy is on the wane, 
And that the Muses tune their lyres in vain? 
'Mid all the treasures of romantic story, 
When thought was fresh and fancy in her glory, 
Has ever Art found out a richer theme, 
More dark a shadow, or more soft a gleam, 
Than fall upon the scene, sketched carelessly, 
In the newspaper column of to-day ? 


American romance is somewhat stale. 

Talk of the hatchet, and the faces pale, 

Wampum and calumets and forests dreary, 

Once so attractive, now begins to weary. 

Uncas and Magawisca please us still, 

Unreal, yet idealized with skill ; 

But every poetaster scribbling w T itling, 

From the majestic oak his stylus whittling, 

Has helped to tire us, and to make us fear 

The monotone in which so much we hear 

Of " stoics of the wood," and " men without a tear." 

Yet Nature, ever buoyant, ever young, 

If let alone, will sing as erst she sung ; 

The course of circumstance gives back again 

The Picturesque, erewhile pursued in vain ; 

Shows us the fount of Romance is not wasted — 

The lights and shades of contrast not exhausted. 

Shorn of his strength, the Samson now must sue 
For fragments from the feast his fathers gave, 
The Indian dare not claim what is his due, 

But as a boon his heritage must crave ; 
His stately form shall soon be seen no more 
Through all his father's land, th' Atlantic shore, 
Beneath the sun, to us so kind, they melt, 
More heavily each day our rule is felt ; 
The tale is old, — we do as mortals must : 
Might makes right here, but God and Time are just. 

So near the drama hastens to its close, 
On this last scene awhile your eyes repose ; 
The polished Greek and Scythian meet again, 
The ancient life is lived by modern men — 


The savage through our busy cities walks, — 

He in his untouched grandeur silent stalks. 

Unmoved by all our gaieties and shows, 

Wonder nor shame can touch him as he goes ; 

He gazes on the marvels we have wrought, 

But knows the models from whence all was brought; 

In God's first temples he has stood so oft, 

And listened to the natural organ loft — 

lias watched the eagle's ilijrht, the muttering thunder 

Art cannot move him to a wondering word ; 
Perhaps he sees that all this luxury 
Brings less food to the mind than to the eye ; 
Perhaps a simple sentiment has brought 
More to him than your arts had ever taught. 
What are the petty triumphs Art has given, 
To eyes familiar with the naked heaven? 

All has been seen — dock, railroad, and canal, 
Fort, market, bridge, college, and arsenal, 
Asylum, hospital, and cotton mill, 
The theatre, the lighthouse, and the jail. 
The Braves each novelty, reflecting, saw, 
And now and then growled out the earnest yaw. 
And now the time is come, 'tis understood, 
When, having seen and thought so much, a talk may do 
some good. 

A well-dressed mob have thronged the sight to greet, 
And in. it ley figures throng the spacious street ; 
M;ijestical and calm through all they stride, 
AVearincr the blanket with a monarch's pride ; 
The gaz.ers stare and shrug, but can't deny 
Their noble forms and blameless symmetry. 


If the Great Spirit their morale has slighted, 

And wigwam smoke their mental culture blighted, 

Yet the physique, at least, perfection reaches, 

In wilds where neither Combe nor Spursheim teaches ; 

Where whispering trees invite man to the chase, 

And bounding deer allure him to the race. 

Would thou hadst seen it ! That dark, stately band, 

Whose ancestors enjoyed all this fair land, 

Whence they, by force or fraud, were made to flee, 

Are brought, the white man's victory to see. 

Can kind emotions in their proud hearts glow, 

As through these realms, now decked by Art, they go ? 

The church, the school, the railroad and the mart — 

Can these a pleasure to their minds impart? 

All once was theirs — earth, ocean, forest, sky — 

How can they joy in what now meets the eye ? 

Not yet Religion has unlocked the soul, 

Nor Each has learned to glory in the Whole ! 

Must they not think, so strange and sad their lot, 
That they by the Great Spirit are forgot 1 
From the far border to which they are driven, 
They might look up in trust to the clear heaven ; 
But here — what tales doth every object tell 
Where Massasoit sleeps — where Philip fell ! 

We take our turn, and the Philosopher 
Sees through the clouds a hand which cannot err, 
An unimproving race, with all their graces 
And all their vices, must resign their places ; 
And Human Culture rolls its onward flood 
Over the broad plains steeped in Indian blood. 


Such thoughts steady our faith ; yet there will rise 
Some natural tears into the calmest eves — 
Which gaze where forest princes haughty go, 
Made for a gnping crowd a raree show. 

But this a scene seems where, in courtesy, 
The pale face with the forest prince could vie, 
For One presided, who, for tact and grace, 
In any age had held an honored place, — 
In Beauty's own dear day, had shone a polished Phidian 
vase ! 

Oft have I listened to his accents bland, 

And owned the magic of his silvery voice, 
In all the traces which life's arts demand, 
Delighted by the justness of his choice. 
Not his the stream of lavish, fervid thought, — 
The rhetoric by passion's magic wrought ; 
Not his the massive style, the lion port, 
Which with the granite class of mind assort; 
But, in a range of excellence his own, 
With all the charms to soft persuasion known, 
Amid our busy people we admire him — " elegant and 

He scarce needs words, so exquisite the skill 

Which modulates the tones to do his will, 

That the mere sound enough would charm the ear, 

And lap in its Elysium all who hear. 

The intellectual paleness of his cheek, 

The heavy eyelids and slow, tranquil smile, 
The well cut lips from which the graces speak, 

Fit him alike to win or to beguile; 
Then those words so well chosen, fit, though few, 


Their linked sweetness as our thoughts pursue, 

We deem them spoken pearls, or radiant diamond dew. 

And never yet did I admire the power 

Which makes so lustrous every threadbare theme — 
Which won for Lafayette one other hour, 

And e'en on July Fourth could cast a gleam — 
As now, when I behold him play the host, 
With all the dignity which red men boast — 
With all the courtesy the whites have lost ; — 
Assume the very hue of savage mind, 
Yet in rude accents show the thought refined ; — 
Assume the naivete of infant age, 
And in such prattle seem still more a sage ; 
The golden mean with tact unerring seized, 
A courtly critic shone, a simple savage pleased; 
The stoic of the woods his skill confessed, 
As all the Father answered in his breast, 
To the sure mark the silver arrow sped, 
The man without a tear a tear has shed ; 
And thou hadst wept, hadst thou been there, to see 
How true one sentiment must ever be, 
In court or camp, the city or the wild, 
To rouse the Father's heart, you need but name his Child. 

'T was a fair scene — : and acted well by all ; 
So here 's a health to Indian braves so tall — 
Our Governor and Boston people all ! 

I will copy the admirable speech of Governor Ev- 
erett on that occasion, as I think it the happiest at- 
tempt ever made to meet the Indian in his own way, 
and catch the tone of his mind. It was said, in the 

Everett's speech. 191 

newspapers, that Keokuck did actually shed tears 
when addressed as a father. If he did not with his 
eyes, he well might in his heart. 


Chiefs and warriors of the Sauks and Foxes, you 
are welcome to our hall of council. 

Brothers ! you have come a long way from home to 
visit your white brethren ; we rejoice to take you by 
the hand. 

Brothers ! we have heard the names of your chiefs 
and warriors ; our brothers, who have travelled into 
the West, have told us a great deal of the Sauks and 
Foxes ; we rejoice to see you with our own eyes, and 
take you by the hand. 

Brothers ! we are called the Massachusetts. This 
is the name of the red men that once lived here. 
Their wigwams filled yonder field ; their council fire 
was kindled on this spot. They were of the same 
great race as the Sauks and Misquakuiks. 

Brothers ! when our fathers came over the great 
waters, they were a small band. The red man stood 
upon the rock by the seaside, and saw our fathers. 
He might have pushed them into the water and 
drowned them. But he stretched out his arm to our 
fathers and said, " Welcome, white men ! " Our fa- 
thers were hungry, and the red men gave them corn 
and venison. Our fathers were cold, and the red man 
wrapped them up in his blanket. We are now nu- 
merous and powerful, but we remember the kindness 


of the red man to our fathers. Brothers, you are 
welcome ; we are glad to see you. 

Brothers ! our faces are pale, and your faces are 
dark ; but our hearts are alike. The Great Spirit 
has made his children of different colors, but he loves 
them all. 

Brothers ! you dwell between the Mississippi and 
the Missouri. They are mighty rivers. They have 
one branch far East in the Alleghanies, and the 
other far West in the Rocky Mountains ; but they 
flow together at last into one great stream, and run 
down together into the sea. In like manner, the red 
man dwells in the West, and the white man in the 
East, by the great waters ; but they are all one branch, 
one family ; it has many branches and one head. 

Brothers ! as you entered our council house, you 
beheld the image of our great Father Washington. 
It is a cold stone — it cannot speak. But he was the 
friend of the red man, and bad his children live in 
peace with their red brethren. He is gone to the 
world of spirits. But his words have made a very 
deep print in Our hearts, like the step of a strong buf- 
falo on the soft clay of the prairie. 

Brother ! I perceive your little son between your 
knees. God preserve his life, my brother. He 
grows up before you like the tender sapling by the 
side of the mighty oak. May the oak and the sap- 
ling flourish a long time together. And when the 
mighty oak is fallen to the ground, may the young 
tree fill its place in the forest, and spread out its 
branches over the tribe like the parent trunk. 

Brothers ! I make you a short talk, and again bid 
you welcome to our council hall. 


Not often have they been addressed with such 
intelligence and tact. The few who have not ap- 
proached them with sordid rapacity, but from love to 
them, as men, and souls to be redeemed, have most 
frequently been persons intellectually too narrow, 
too straightly bound in sects or opinions, to throw 
themselves into the character or position of the In- 
dians, or impart to them anything they can make 
available. The Christ shown them by these mis- 
sionaries, is to them but a new and more powerful 
Manito ; the signs of the new religion, but the fetiches 
that have aided the conquerors. 

Here I will copy some remarks made by a discern- 
ing observer, on the methods used by the missionaries, 
and their natural results. 

" Mr. — and myself had a very interesting con- 
versation, upon the subject of the Indians, their cha- 
racter, capabilities, &c. After ten years' experience 
among them, he was forced to acknowledge, that the 
results of the missionary efforts had produced nothing 
calculated to encourage. He thought that there 
was an intrinsic disability in them, to rise above, or 
go beyond the sphere in which they had so long 
moved. He said, that even those Indians who had 
been converted, and who had adopted the habits of 
civilization, were very little improved in their real 
character ; they were as selfish, as deceitful, and as 
indolent, as those who were still heathens. They 
had repaid the kindnesses of the missionaries with the 
basest ingratitude, killing their cattle and swine, and 
robbing them of their harvests, which they wantonly 
destroyed. He had abandoned the idea of effecting 



any general good to the Indians. He had conscien- 
tious scruples, as to promoting an enterprise so hope- 
less, as that of missions among the Indians, by send- 
ing accounts to the east, that might induce philan- 
thropic individuals to contribute to their support. 
In fact, the whole experience of his intercourse with 
them, seemed to have convinced him of the irreme- 
diable degradation of the race. Their fortitude 
under suffering, he considered the result of physical 
and mental insensibility ; their courage, a mere ani- 
mal excitement, which they found it necessary to in- 
flame, before daring to meet a foe. They have no 
constancy of purpose ; and are, in fact, but little su- 
perior to the brutes, in point of moral development. 
It is not astonishing, that one looking upon the In- 
dian character, from Mr. — 's point of view, should 
entertain such sentiments. The object of his inter- 
course with them was, to make them apprehend the 
mysteries of a theology, which, to the most enlight- 
ened, is an abstruse, metaphysical study ; and it is 
not singular they should prefer their pagan super- 
stitions, which address themselves more directly to 
the senses. Failing in the attempt to christianize, 
before civilizing them, he inferred, that, in the intrin- 
sic degradation of their faculties, the obstacle was to 

be found." 

Thus the missionary vainly attempts, by once or 
twice holding up the cross, to turn deer and tigers 
into lambs ; vainly attempts to convince the red man 
that a heavenly mandate takes from him his broad 
lands. He bows his head, but does not at heart ac- 
quiesce. He cannot. It is not true ; and if it were, 


the descent of blood through the same channels, for 
centuries, had formed habits of thought not so easily 
to be disturbed. 

Amalgamation would afford the only true and pro- 
found means of civilization. But nature seems, like 
all else, to declare, that this race is fated to perish. 
Those of mixed blood fade early, and are not gene- 
rally a fine race. They lose what is best in either 
type, rather than enhance the value of each, by 
mingling. There are exceptions, one or two such I 
know of, but this, it is said, is the general rule. 

A traveller observes, that the white settlers, who 
live in the woods, soon become sallow, lanky, and 
dejected ; the atmosphere of the trees does not agree 
with Caucasian lungs; and it is, perhaps, in part, an 
instinct of this, which causes the hatred of the new 
settlers towards trees. The Indian breathed the at- 
mosphere of the forests freely ; he loved their shade. 
As they are effaced from the land, he fleets too ; a 
part of the same manifestation, which cannot linger 
behind its proper era. 

The Chippewas have lately petitioned the state of 
Michigan, that they may be admitted as citizens; 
but this would be vain, unless they could be admit- 
ted, as brothers, to the heart of the white man. And 
while the latter feels that conviction of superiority, 
which enabled our Wisconsin friend to throw away 
the gun, and send the Indian to fetch it, he had 
need to be very good, and very wise, not to abuse 
his position. But the white man, as yet, is a half- 
tamed pirate, and avails himself, as much as ever, of 
the maxim, " Might makes right." All that civili- 


zation does for the generality, is to cover up this with 
a veil of subtle evasions and chicane, and here and 
there to rouse the individual mind to appeal to heaven 
against it. 

I have no hope of liberalizing the missionary, of 
humanizing the sharks of trade, of infusing the con- 
scientious drop into the flinty bosom of policy, of 
saving the Indian from immediate degradation, and 
speedy death. The whole sermon may be preached 
from the text, " Needs be that offences must come, 
yet wo them by whom they come." Yet, ere they 
depart, I wish there might be some masterly attempt 
to reproduce, in art or literature, what is proper to 
them, a kind of beauty and grandeur, which few of 
the every-day crowd have hearts to feel, yet which 
ought to leave in the world its monuments, to inspire 
the thought of genius through all ages. Nothing in 
this kind has been done masterly ; since it was Cle- 
vengers's ambition, 'tis pity he had not opportunity 
to try fully his powers. We hope some other mind 
may be bent upon it, ere too late. 

At present the only lively impress of their passage 
through the world is to be found in such books as 
Catlin's and some stories told by the old travellers, of 
which I purpose a brief account. 

First, let me give another brief tale of the power 
exerted by the white man over the savage in a trying 
case, but, in this case, it was righteous, was moral 

" We were looking over McKenney's trip to the 
Lakes, and, on observing the picture of Key- way -no- 
wut, or the Going Cloud, Mr. B. observed " Ah, that 


is the fellow I came near having a fight with," and he 
detailed at length the circumstances. This Indian 
was a very desperate character, and whom all the 
Leech lake band stood in fear of. He would shoot 
down any Indian who offended him, without the least 
hesitation, and had become quite the bully of that part 
of the tribe. The trader at Leech lake warned Mr. 
B. to beware of him, and said that he once, when he 
(the trader) refused to give up to him his stock of 
wild rice, went and got his gun antl tomahawk, and 
shook the tomahawk over his head, saying " Now, 
give me your wild rice." .The trader complied with 
his exaction, but not so did Mr. B. in the adventure 
which I am about to relate. Key-way-no-wut came 
frequently to him with furs, wishing him to give for 
them cotton cloth, sugar, flour, &c. Mr. B. explain- 
ed to him that he could not trade for furs, as he was 
sent there as a teacher, and that it would be like put- 
ting his hand into the fire to do so, as the traders 
would inform against him, and he would be sent out 
of the country. At the same time, he gave him the 
articles which he wished. Key-way-no-wut found 
this a very convenient way of getting what he wanted, 
and followed up this sort of game, until, at last, it 
became insupportable. One day the Indian brought 
a very large otter skin, and said " I want to get for 
this ten pounds of sugar, and some flour and cloth," 
adding; " I am not like other Indians, /want to pay 
for what I get. Mr. B. found that he must either be 
robbed of all he had by submitting to these exactions, 
or take a stand at once. He thought, however, he 
would try to avoid a scrape, and told his customer he 



had not so much sugar to spare. " Give me then/' 
said he, " what you can spare," and Mr. B. thinking 
to make him back out, told him he would give him 
five pounds of sugar for his skin. " Take it," said 
the Indian. He left the skin, telling Mr. B. to take 
good care of it. Mr. B. took it at once to the trader's 
store, and related the circumstance, congratulating 
himself that he had got rid of the Indian's exactions. 
But, in about a month, Key-way-no-wut appeared 
bringing some dirty Indian sugar, and said " I have 
brought back the sugar that I borrowed of you, and I 
want my otter skin back." Mr. B. told him, " I 
bought an otter skin of you, but if you will return 
the other articles you have got for it, perhaps I can 
get it for you." " Where is the skin?" said he very 
quickly, " what have you done with it ?" Mr. B. 
replied it was in the trader's store, where he (the 
Indian) could not get it. At this information he was 
furious, laid his hands on his knife and tomahawk, 
and commanded Mr. B. to bring it at once. Mr. B. 
found this was the crisis, where he must take a stand 
or be " rode over rough shod " by this man ; his wife, 
who was present was much alarmed, and begged he 
would get the skin for the Indian, but he told her 
that " either he or the Indian would soon be master 
of his house, and if she was afraid to see it decided 
which was to be so, she had better retire." He turn- 
ed to Key-way-no-wut, and addressed him in a stern 
voice as follows : " I will not give you the skin. 
How often have you come to my house, and I have 
shared with you what I had. I gave you tobacco 
when you were well, and medicine when you were 


sick, and you never went away from my wigwam with 
your hands empty. And this is the way you return 
my treatment to you. I had thought you were a man 
and a chief, but you are not, you are nothing but an 
old woman. Leave tl lis house, and never enter it 
again." Mr. B. said he expected the Indian would 
attempt his life when he said this, but that he had 
placed himself in a position so that he could defend 
himself, and he looked straight into the Indian's eye, 
and like other wild beasts he quailed before the glance 
of mental and moral courage. He calmed down at 
once, and soon began to make apologies. Mr. B. 
then told him kindly, but firmly, that, if he wished 
to walk in the same path with him, he must walk as 
straight as the crack 'on the floor before them ; adding 
that he would not walk with anybody who would 
jostle him by walking so crooked as he had done. 
He was perfectly tamed, and Mr. B. said he never 
had any more trouble with him." 

The conviction here livingly enforced of the supe- 
riority on the side of the white man, was thus ex- 
pressed by the Indian orator at Mackinaw while we 
were there. After the customary compliments about 
sun, dew, &c, " This," said he, " is the difference 
between the white and the red man ; the white man 
looks to the future and paves the way for posterity." 
This is a statement uncommonly refined for an In- 
dian ; but one of the gentlemen present, who under- 
stood the Chippeway, vouched for it as a literal 
rendering of his phrases ; and he did indeed touch 
the vital point of difference. But the Indian, if he 
understands, cannot make use of his intelligence. 


The fate of his people is against it, and Pontiac and 
Philip have no more chance, than Julian in the times 
of old. 

Now that I am engaged on this subject, let me 
give some notices of writings upon it, read either at 
Mackinaw or since my return. 

Mrs. Jameson made such good use of her brief 
visit to these regions, as leaves great cause to regret 
she did not stay longer and go farther ; also, that she 
did not make more use of her acquaintance with, in- 
deed, adoption by, the Johnson family. Mr. John- 
son seems to have been almost the only white man 
who knew how to regard with due intelligence and 
nobleness, his connexion with the race. Neither 
French or English, of any povvers of sympathy, or 
poetical apprehension, have. lived among, the Indians 
without high feelings of enjoyment. Perhaps no 
luxury has been greater, than that experienced by 
the persons, who, sent either by trade or war, during 
the last century, into these majestic regions, found 
guides and shelter amid the children of the soil, and 
recognized in a form so new and of such varied, yet 
simple, charms, the tie of brotherhood. 

But these, even Sir William Johnston, w T hose life, 
surrounded by the Indians in his castle on the Mo- 
hawk, is described with such vivacity by Mrs. Grant, 
have been men better fitted to enjoy and adapt them- 
selves to this life, than to observe and record it. The 
very faculties that made it so easy for them to live in 
the present moment, were likely to unfit them for 
keeping its chronicle. Men, whose life is full and in- 
stinctive, care little for the pen. But the father of 


Mrs. Schoolcraft seems to have taken pleasure in ob- 
servation and comparison, and to have imparted the 
same tastes to his children. They have enough of 
European culture to have a standard, by which to 
judge their native habits and inherited lore. 

By the premature death of Mrs. Schoolcraft was 
lost a mine of poesy, to which few had access, and 
from which Mrs. Jameson would have known how to 
coin a series of medals for the history of this ancient 
people. We might have known in clear outline, as 
now we shall not, the growths of religion and philos- 
ophy, under the influences of this climate and scenery, 
from such suggestions as nature and the teachings 
of the inward mind presented. 

Now we can only gather that they had their own 
theory of the history of this globe ; had perceived a 
gap in its genesis, and tried to fill it up by the inter- 
vention of some secondary power, with moral sym- 
pathies. They have observed the action of fire and 
water upon this earth ; also that the dynasty of 
animals has yielded to that of man. With these 
animals they have profound sympathy, and are 
always trying to restore to them their lost honors. 
On the rattlesnake, the beaver, and the bear, they 
seem to look with a mixture of sympathy and vener- 
ation, as on their fellow settlers in these realms. 
There is something that appeals powerfully to the 
imagination in the ceremonies they observe, even in 
case of destroying one of these animals. I will say 
more of this by-and-by. 

The dog they cherish as having been once a spirit 
of high intelligence ; and now in its fallen and im- 


prisoned state, given to man as his special companion. 
He is therefore to them a sacrifice of peculiar worth : 
whether to a guardian spirit or a human friend. Yet 
nothing would be a greater violation than giving the 
remains of a sacrificial feast to the dogs, or even 
suffering them to touch the bones. 

Similar inconsistences may be observed in the 
treatment of the dog by the white man. He is the 
most cherished companion in the familiar walks of 
many men ; his virtues form the theme of poetry 
and history ; the nobler races present grand traits, 
and are treated with proportionate respect. Yet the 
epithets dog and hound, are there set apart to express 
the uttermost contempt. 

Goethe, who abhorred dogs, has selected that ani- 
mal for the embodiment of the modern devil, who, in 
earlier times, chose rather the form of the serpent. 

There is, indeed, something that peculiarly 
breaks in on the harmony of nature, in the bark 
of the dog, and that does not at all correspond 
with the softness and sagacity observable in his 
eye. The baying the moon, I have been inclined 
to set down as an unfavorable indication ; but, 
since Fourier has found out that the moon is dead, 
and "no better than carrion;" and the Greeks have 
designated her as Hecate, the deity of suicide and 
witchcraft, the dogs are perhaps in the right. 

They have among them the legend of the car- 
buncle, so famous in oriental mythos. Adair states 
that they believe this fabulous gem may be found on 
the spot where the rattlesnake has been destroyed. 

If they have not the archetypal man, they have the 

MUCKWA. 203 

archetypal animal, " the grandfather of all beavers;" 
to tlienij who do not know the elephant, this is the 
symbol of wisdom, as the rattlesnake and boar of 

I will insert here a little tale about the bear, which 
has not before appeared in print, as representing 
their human way of looking on these animals, even 
when engaged in their pursuit To me such stories 
give a fine sense of the lively perceptions and exer- 
cise of fancy, enjoyed by them in their lives of wood- 
craft : 


A voting Indian, who lived a great while ago, when 
he was quite young killed a bear ; and the tribe from 
that circumstance called him Muckwa. As lie grew 
up he became an expert hunter, and his favorite game 
was the bear, many of which he killed. . One day he 
started oil* to a river far remote from the lodges of his 
tribe, and where berries and grapes were very plenty, 
in pursuit of bears. He hunted all day but found 
nothing ; and just at night he came to some lodges 
which he thought to be those of some of his tribe. 
He approached the largest of them, lifted the curtain 
at its entrance, and went in, when he perceived the 
inmates to be bears, who were seated around the 
fire smoking. He said nothing, but seated himself 
also and smoked the pipe which they offered him, 
in silence. An old grey bear, who was the chief, 
ordered supper to be brought for him, and after he had 
eaten it, addressed him as follows : u My son, I am 
glad to see you come among us in a friendly manner. 
You have been a great hunter, and all the she-bears 


of our tribe tremble when they hear your name. But 
cease to trouble us, and come and live with me ; we 
have a very pleasant life, living upon the fruits of the 
earth ; and in the winter, instead of being obliged to 
hunt and travel through the deep snow, we sleep 
soundly until the sun unchains the streams, and 
makes the tender buds put forth for our subsistence. 
I will give you my daughter for a wife, and we will 
live happily together." Muckwa was inclined to 
accept the old bear's offer ; but when he saw the 
daughter, who came and took off his wet moccasons, 
and gave him dry ones, he thought that he had never 
seen any Indian woman so beautiful. He accepted 
the offer of the chief of the bears, and lived with his 
wife very happily for some time. He had by her two 
sons, one of whom was like an Indian, and the other 
like a bear. When the bear-child was oppressed 
with heat, his mother would take him into the deep 
cool caves, while the Indian-child would shiver with . 
cold, and cry after her in vain. As the autumn ad- 
vanced, the bears began to go out in search of acorns, 
and then the she-bear said to Muckwa, " Stay at home 
here and watch our house, while I go to gather some 
nuts." She departed and was gone for some days 
with her people. By-and-by Muckwa became tired 
of staying at home, and thought that he would go 
off to a distance and resume his favorite bear-hunting. 
He accordingly started off, and at last came to a grove 
of lofty oaks, which were full of large acorns. He 
found signs of bear, and soon espied a fat she-bear 
on the top of a tree. He shot at her with a good 
aim, and she fell, pierced by his unerring arrow. He 

MUCKWA. *205 

went up to her, and found it was his sister-in-law, 
who reproached him with his cruelty, and told him 
to return to his own people. Muckwa returned 
quietly home, and pretended not to have left his 
lodge. However, the old chief understood, and was 
disposed to kill him in revenge ; but his wife found 
means to avert her father's anger. The winter 
season now coming on, Muckwa prepared to accom- 
pany his wife into winter quarters ; they selected a 
large tamarack tree, which was hollow, and lived 
there comfortably until a party of hunters discovered 
their retreat. The she-bear told Muckwa to remain 
quietly in the tree, and that she would decoy off the 
hunters She came out of the hollow, jumped from 
a bough of the tree, and escaped unharmed, although 
the hunters shot after her. Some time after, she re- 
turned to the tree, and told Muckwa that he had 
better go back to his own people. " Since you have 
lived among us," said she, " we have nothing but ill- 
fortune ; you have killed my sister ; and now your 
friends have followed your footsteps to our retreats to 
kill us. The Indian and the bear cannot live in the 
same lodge, for the Master of Life has appointed for 
them different habitations." So Muckwa returned 
with his son to his own people ; but he never after 
would shoot a she-bear, for fear that he should kill 
his wife." 

I admire this story for the savoir J'aire, the non- 
chalance, the Vivian Grevism of Indian life. It is 
also a poetical expression of the sorrows of unequal 
relations ; those in which the Master of Lil«' was not 
consulted. Is it not pathetic ; the picture of the 



mother carrying off the child that was like herself into 
the deep, cool caves, while the other, shivering with 
cold, cried after her in vain ? The moral, too, of 
Muckwa's return to the bear lodges, thinking to hide 
his sin by silence, while it was at once discerned by 
those connected with him, is fine. 

We have a nursery tale, of which children never 
weary, of a little boy visiting a bear house and hold- 
ing intercourse with them on terms as free as Muck- 
wa did. So, perhaps, the child of Norman-Saxon 
blood, no less than the Indian, finds some pulse of the 
Orson in his veins. 

As they loved to draw the lower forms of nature 
up to them, divining their histories, and imitating 
their ways, in their wild dances and paintings ; even 
so did they love to look upward and people the at- 
mosphere that enfolds the earth, with fairies and 
manitoes. The sister, obliged to leave her brother 
on the earth, bids him look up at evening, and he 
will see her painting her face in the west. 

All places, distinguished in any way by nature, 
aroused the feelings of worship, which, however 
ignorant, are always elevating. See as instances in 
this kind, the stories of Nanabojou, and the Winne- 
bago Prince, at the falls of St. Anthony. 

As with the Greeks, beautiful legends grow up 
which express the aspects of various localities. 
From the distant sand-banks in the lakes, glitter- 
ing in the sun, come stories of enchantresses comb- 
ing, on the shore, the long golden hair of a beauti- 
ful daughter. The Lorelei of the Rhine, with her 
syren song, and the sad events that follow, is found 
on the lonely rocks of Lake Superior. 


The story to which I now refer, may be found in 
a book called Life on the Lakes, or, a Trip to the 
Pictured Rocks. There are two which purport to be 
Indian tales ; one is simply a romantic narrative, con- 
nected with a spot at Mackinaw, called Robinson's 
Folly. This, no less than the other, was unknown 
to those persons I saw on the island ; but as they 
seem entirely beyond the powers of the person who 
writes them down, and the other one has the profound 
and original meaning of Greek tragedy, I believe they 
must be genuine legends. 

The one I admire is the story of a young warrior, 
who goes to keep, on these lonely rocks, the fast 
which is to secure him vision of his tutelary spirit. 
There the loneliness is broken by the voice of sweet 
music from the water. The Indian knows well that 
to break the fast, which is the crisis of his life, by 
turning his attention from seeking the Great Spirit, 
to any lower object, will deprive him through life of 
heavenly protection, probably call down the severest 

But the temptation is too strong for him ; like the 
victims of the Lorelei, he looks, like them beholds a 
maiden of unearthly beauty, to him the harbinger of 
earthly wo. 

The development of his fate, that succeeds ; of 
love, of heart-break, of terrible revenge, which back 
upon itself recoils, may vie with anything I have 
ever known of stern tragedy, is altogether unlike 
any other form, and with all the peculiar expression 
we see lurking in the Indian eye. The demon is 
not frightful and fantastic, like those that haunt the 


German forest ; but terribly human, as if of full 
manhood, reared in the shadow of the black forests. 
An Indian sarcasm vibrates through it, which, with 
Indian fortitude, defies the inevitable torture. 

The Indian is steady to that simple creed, which 
forms the basis of all this mythology ; that there is a 
God, and a life beyond this; a right and wrong which 
each man can see, betwixt which each man should 
choose ; that good brings with it its reward and vice 
its punishment. Their moral code, if not refined as 
that of civilized nations, is clear and noble in the 
stress laid upon truth and fidelity. And all unpreju- 
diced observers bear testimony that the Indians, un- 
til broken from their old anchorage by intercourse 
with the whites, who offer them, instead, a religion of 
which they furnish neither interpretation nor exam- 
ple, were singularly virtuous, if virtue be allowed to 
consist in a man's acting up to his own ideas of right. 

Old Adair, who lived forty years among the In- 
dians ; not these tribes, indeed, but the southern In- 
dians, does great justice to their religious aspiration. 
He is persuaded that they are Jews, and his main ob- 
ject is to identify their manifold ritual, and customs 
connected with it, with that of the Jews. His narra- 
tive contains much that is worthless, and is written in 
the most tedious manner of the folios. But his devo- 
tion to the records of ancient Jewry, has really given 
him power to discern congenial traits elsewhere, and 
for the sake of what he has expressed of the noble 
side of Indian character, we pardon him our having 
to wade through so many imbecilities. 

An infidel, he says, is, in their language, " one 


who has shaken hands with the accursed speech ; " a 
reliirious man, "one who lias shaken hands with the 
beloved speech." If this be a correct definition, we 
could wish Adair more religious. 

He gives a fine account of their methods of puri- 
fication. These show a dee}) reliance on the sus- 
taining Spirit. By fasting and prayer they make 
ready for all important decisions and actions. Even 
for the war path, on which he is likely to endure 
such privations, the brave prepares by a solemn fast. 
His reliance is on the spirit in which he goes forth. 

We may contrast with the opinion of the mission- 
ary, as given on a former page, the testimony of one, 
who knew them as Adair did, to their heroism under 

He gives several stories, illustrative both of their 
courage, fortitude, and resource in time of peril, of 
which I will cite only the two first. 

" The Shawano Indians took a Muskohgc warrior, 
known by the name of " Old Scrany ;" they bastina- 
doed him in the usual manner, and condemned him 
to the fiery torture. He underwent a great deal, 
without showing any concern ; his countenance and 
behavior were as if he sutlercd not the least pain, and 
was formed beyond the common laws of nature. He 
told them, with a bold voice, that he was a very no- 
ted warrior, and gained most of his martial prefer- 
ments at the expense of their nation, and was desir- 
ous of showing them in the act of dying that he was 
still as much their superior, as when he headed his 
gallant countrymen against them. That, although he 
had fallen into their hands, in forfeiting the protection 



of the divine power, by some impurity or other, yet 
he had still so much virtue remaining, as would ena- 
ble him to punish himself more exquisitely than all 
their despicable, ignorant crowd could possibly do, 
if they gave him liberty by untying him, and would 
hand to him one of the red hot gun-barrels out of the 
fire. The proposal, and his method of address, ap- 
peared so exceedingly bold and uncommon, that his 
request was granted. Then he suddenly seized one 
end of the red hot barrel, and, brandishing it from 
side to side, he found his way through the armed and 
surprised multitude, and leaped down a prodigious 
steep and high bank into a branch of the river, dived 
through it, ran over a small island, passed the other 
branch amidst a shower of bullets, and, though num- 
bers of his eager enemies were in close pursuit of 
him, he got to a bramble swamp, and in that naked, 
mangled condition, reached his own country. He 
proved a sharp thorn in their side afterwards, to the 
day of his death. 

The Shawano also captivated a warrior of the 
Anantooiah, and put him to the stake, according to 
their usual cruel solemnities. Having unconcernedly 
suffered much sharp torture, he told them with scorn, 
they did not know how to punish a noted enemy, 
therefore he was willing to teach them, and would 
confirm the truth of his assertion, if they allowed him 
the opportunity. Accordingly he requested of them 
a pipe and some tobacco, which was given him ; as 
soon as he lighted it, he sat down, naked as he was, 
on the women's burning torches, that were within his 
circle, and continued smoking his pipe without the 


least discomposure. On this a head warrior leaped 
up, and said they had scon, plain enough, that lie was 
a warrior, and not afraid of dying ; nor should he have 
died, but that he was both spoiled by the fire, and 
devoted to it by their laws ; however, though he was 
a very dangerous enemy, and his nation a treacherous 
people, it should appear they paid a regard to 
bravery, even in one, who was marked over the body 
with war streaks at the cost of many lives of their 
beloved kindred. And then, by way of favor, he, 
with his friendly tomahawk, put an end to all his 
pains : though this merciful but bloody instrument 
was ready some minutes before it gave the blow, yet, 
I was assured, the spectators could not perceive the 
sufferer to change, either his posture, or his steady, 
erect countenance in the least." 

Some stones as fine, but longer, follow. In re- 
ference to which Adair says. M The intrepid behavior 
of these rod stoics, their surprising contempt of and 
indifference to life or death, instead of lessening, 
helps to confirm our belief of that supernatural power, 
which supported the great number of primitive mar- 
tyrs, who sealed the christian faith with their blood. 
The Indians have BS much belief and expectation of 
a future state, as the greater part of the Israelites 
seem to have. But the christians of the first centu- 
ries, may justly !>•• said to exceed even the most he- 
roic American Indians, for they bore the bitterest 
persecution with steady patience, in imitation of their 
divine leader Messiah, in full confidence of divine 
support and of a glorious recompense of reward ; 
and, instead of even wishing for revenge on their 


cruel enemies and malicious tormentors, (which is 
the chief principle that actuates the Indians,) they 
not only forgave them, but, in the midst of their tor- 
tures, earnestly prayed for them, with composed 
countenances, sincere love, and unabated fervor. And 
not only men of different conditions, but the delicate 
women and children suffered with constancy, and 
died praying for their tormentors : the Indian women 
and children, and their young men untrained to war, 
are incapable of displaying the like patience and 

Thus impartially looks the old trader. I meant 
to have inserted other passages, that of the encamp- 
ment at Yowanne, and the horse race to which he 
challenged them, to show how well he could convey 
in his garrulous fashion the whole presence of Indian 
life. That of Yowanne, especially, takes my fancy 
much, by its wild and subtle air, and the old-nurse 
fashion in which every look and gesture is detailed. 
His enjoyment, too, at outwitting the Indians in their 
own fashion is contagious. There is a fine history 
of a young man driven by a presentiment to run 
upon his death. But I find, to copy these stories, as 
they stand, would half fill this little book, and com- 
pression w r ould spoil them, so I must wait some 
other occasion. 

The story, later, of giving an Indian liquid fire to 
swallow, I give at full length, to show how a kind- 
hearted man and one well disposed towards them, 
can treat them, and view his barbarity as a joke. 
It is not then so much wonder, if the trader, with 
this s me feeling that they may be treated, (as how- 


ever brutes should not be.) brutally, mixes red pepper 
and damaged tobacco with the rum, intending in 
their fever to fleece them of all they possess. 

Like Murray and Henry, he has his great Indian 
chief, who represents what the people should be, as 
Pericles and Phocion what the Greek people should 
be. If we are entitled to judge by its best fruits 
of the goodness of the tree, Adair's Red Shoes, and 
Henry's Wawatam, should make us respect the first 
possessors of our country, and doubt whether we are 
in all ways worthy to fill their place. Of the whole 
tone of character, judgment may be formed by what 
is said of the death of Red Shoes. 

" This chief, by his several transcendent qualities 
had arrived at the highest pitch of the red glory. . . . 

He was murdered, for the sake of a French re- 
ward, by one of his own countrymen. He had the 
misfortune to be taken very sick on the road, and to 
lodge apart from the camp, according to their custom. 
A Judas, tempted by the high reward of the French 
for killing him, officiously pretended to take great 
care of him. While Red Shoes kept his face toward 
him, the barbarian had such feelings of awe and pity 
that he had not power to perpetrate his wicked de- 
sign ; but when he turned his back, then gave the 
fatal shot. In this manner fell this valuable brave 
man, by hands that would have trembled to attack 
him on an equality." 

Adair, with all his sympathy for the Indian, mixes 
quite unconsciously some white man's views of the 
most decided sort. For instance, he recommends that 
the tribes be stimulated as much as possible to war 


with each other, that they may the more easily and 
completely be kept under the dominion of the whites, 
and he gives the following record of brutality as quite 
a jocose and adroit procedure. 

" I told him, on his importuning me further, that I 
had a full bottle of the water of am hoome, " bitter 
ears," meaning long pepper, of which he was igno- 
rant. We were of opinion that his eager thirst for 
liquor, as well as his ignorance of the burning quality 
of the pepper, would induce the bacchanal to try it. 
He accordingly applauded my generous disposition, 
and said his heart had all along told him I would not 
act beneath the character I bore among his country 
people. The bottle was brought, I laid it on the ta- 
ble, and then told him, as he was spitting very much, 
(a general custom among the Indians when they are 
eager for anything,) if I drank it all at one sitting it 
would cause me to spit in earnest, as I used it only 
when I ate, and then very moderately ; but though I 
loved it, if his heart was very poor for it, I should be 
silent, and not the least grudge him for pleasing his 
mouth. He said, < your heart is honest, indeed ; I 
thank you, for it is good to my heart, and makes it 
greatly to rejoice.' Without any further ceremony 
he seized the bottle, uncorked it, and swallowed a 
large quantity of the burning liquid, till he was near- 
ly strangled. He gasped for a considerable time, and 
as soon as he recovered his breath, he said Hah, and 
soon after kept stroking his throat with his right 
hand. When the violence of this burning draught 
was pretty well over, he began to nourish away in 
praise of the strength of the liquor and bounty of 


the giver. He then went to his companion and held 
the liquor to his mouth according to custom, till he 
took several hearty swallows. This Indian seemed 
rather more sensible of its fiery quality than the other, 
for it suffocated him for a considerable time ; but as 
soon as he recovered his breath, he tumbled about 
the floor like a drunken person. In this manner they 
finished the whole bottle, into which two others had 
been decanted. The burning liquor so highly in- 
flamed their bodies, that one of the Choctaws, to cool 
his inward parts, drank water till he almost burst ; 
the other, rather than bear the ridicule of the people, 
and the inward fire that distracted him, drowned him- 
self the second night after in a broad and shallow 

clay hole 

There was an incident similar, which happened 
among the Cherokees. When all the liquor was ex- 
pended the Indians went home, leading with them, at 
my request, those that were drunk. One, however, 
soon came back, and earnestly importuned me for 
more Nawahti, which signifies both physic and spirit- 
uous liquor. They, as they are now become great 
liars, suspect all others of being infected with their 
own disposition and principles. The more I excused 
myself, the more anxious he grew, so as to become 
oflensive. I then told him I had only one quarter of 
a bottle of strong physic, which sick people might 
drink in small quantities, for the cure of inward 
pains : and, laying it down before him, I declared I 
did not on any account choose to part with it, but as 
his speech had become very long and troublesome, he 
might do just as his heart directed him concerning it. 


He took it up, saying, his heart was very poor for 
physic, but he would cure it, and make it quite 
straight. The bottle contained three gills of strong 
spirits of turpentine, which, in a short time he drank 
off. Such a quantity would have demolished me or 
any white person. The Indians, in general, are 
either capable of suffering exquisite pain longer than 
we are, or of showing more constancy and compo- 
sure in their torments. The troublesome visiter soon 
tumbled down and foamed prodigiously. I then sent 
for some of his relations to carry him home. They 
came ; I told them he drank greedily, and too much 
of the physic. They said, it was his usual custom, 
when the red people bought the English physic. They 
gave him a decoction of proper herbs and roots, the 
next day sweated him, repeated the former draught, 
and he got well. As these turpentine spirits did not 
inebriate him, but only inflamed his intestines, he 
well remembered the burning quality of my favorite 
physic, and cautioned the rest from ever teasing me 
for any physic I had concealed in any sort of bottles 
for my own use ; otherwise they might be sure it 
would spoil them like the eating of fire." 

We are pleased to note that the same white man, 
who so resolutely resisted the encroachments of Key- 
way-no-wut, devised a more humane expedient in a 
similar dilemma. 

" Mr. B. told me that, when he first went into the 
Indian country, they got the taste of his peppermint, 
and, after that, colics prevailed among them to an 
alarming extent, till Mrs. B. made a strong decoction 
of flagroot, and gave them in place of their favorite 

CARVER. 217 

medicine. This effected, as might be supposed, a 
radical cure." 

I am inclined to recommend Adair to the patient 
reader, if such may be found in these United States, 
with the assurance that, if he will have tolerance for 
its intolerable prolixity and dryness, he will find, on 
rising from the book, that he has partaken of an in- 
fusion of real Indian bitters, such as may not be 
drawn from any of the more attractive memoirs on 
the same subject. 

Another book of interest, from its fidelity and can- 
did spirit, though written without vivacity, and by a 
person neither of large mind nor prepared for various 
inquiry, is Carver's Travels, " for three years through- 
out the interior parts of America, for more than five 
thousand miles." 

He set out from Boston in " June, 1786, and pro- 
ceeded, by way of Albany and Niagara, to Michili- 
mackinac, a fort situated between the Lakes Huron 
and Michigan, and distant from Boston 1300 miles." 

It is interesting to follow his footsteps in these lo- 
calities, though they be not bold footsteps. 

He mentions the town of the Sacs, on the Wiscon- 
sin, as the largest and best built he saw, " com- 
posed of ninety houses, each large enough for several 
families. These are built of hewn plank, neatly 
jointed, and covered with bark so compactly as to 
keep out the most penetrating rains. Before the 
doors are placed comfortable sheds, in which the in- 
habitants sit, when the weather will permit, and 
smoke their pipes. The streets are regular and spa- 


cious. In their plantations, which lie adjacent to 
their houses, and which are neatly laid out, they raise 
great quantities of Indian corn, beans and melons." 

Such settlements compare very well with those 
which were found on the Mohawk. It was of such 
that the poor Indian was thinking, whom our host 
saw gazing on the shore of Nomabbin lake. 

He mentions the rise and fall of the lake-waters, 
by a tide of three feet, once in seven years, — a phe- 
nomenon not yet accounted for. 

His view of the Indian character is truly impartial. 
He did not see it so fully drawn out by circumstances 
as Henry did, (of whose narrative we shall presently 
speak,) but we come to similar results from the two 
witnesses. They are in every feature Romans, as de- 
scribed by Carver, and patriotism their leading im- 
pulse. He deserves the more credit for the justice 
he is able to do them, that he had undergone the 
terrors of death at their hands, when present at the 
surrender of one of the forts, and had seen them in 
that mood which they express by drinking the blood 
and eating the hearts of their enemies, yet is able to 
understand the position of their minds, and allow for 
their notions of duty. 

No selfish views, says he, influence their advice, or 
obstruct their consultations. 

Let me mention here the use they make of their 
vapor baths. " When about to decide on some im- 
portant measure, they go into them, thus cleansing 
the skin and carrying off any peccant humors, so that 
the body may, as little as possible, impede the mind 
by any ill conditions." 

CARVER. 219 

They prepare the bath for one another when any 
arrangement is to be made between families, on the 
opposite principle to the whites, who make them 
drunk before bargaining with them. The bath serves 
them instead of a cup of coffee, to stimulate the think- 
ing powers. 

He mentions other instances of their kind of deli- 
cacy, which, if different from ours, was, perhaps, 
more rigidly observed. 

Lovers never spoke of love till the daylight was 
quite gone. 

" If an Indian goes to visit any particular person in 
a family, he mentions for whom his visit is intended, 
and the rest of the family, immediately retiring to the 
other end of the hut or tent, are careful not to come 
near enough to interrupt them during the whole of 
the conversation." 

In cases of divorce, which was easily obtained, the 
advantage rested with the woman. The reason given 
is indeed contemptuous toward her, but a chivalric 
direction is given to the contempt. 

" The children of the Indians arc always distin- 
guished by the name of the mother, and, if a woman 
marries several husbands, and has issue by each of 
them, they are called after her. The reason they 
give for this is, that, t as their offspring are indebted 
to the father for the soul, the invisible part of their 
essence, and to the mother for their corporeal and ap- 
parent part, it is most rational that they should be 
distinguished by the name of the latter, from whom 
they indubitably derive their present being.' 

This is precisely the division of functions made by 


Ovid, as the father sees Hercules perishing on the 
funeral pyre. 

" Nee nisi materna Vulcairum parte potentem 
Sentiet. JEternum est a me quod traxit et expers 
Atque immune necis, nuliaqe domabile flamma." 

He is not enough acquainted with natural history 
to make valuable observations. He mentions, how- 
ever, as did my friend, the Indian girl, that those 
splendid flowers, the Wickapee and the root of the 
Wake-Robin, afford valuable medicines. Here, as 
in the case of the Lobelia, nature has blazoned her 
drug in higher colors than did ever quack doctor. 

He observes some points of resemblance between 
the Indians and Tartars, but they are trivial, and not 
well considered. He mentions that the Tartars have 
the same custom, with some of these tribes, of shaving 
all the head except a tuft on the crown. Catlin says 
this is intended to afford a convenient means by 
which to take away the scalp ; for they consider it 
a great disgrace to have the foeman neglect this, as if 
he considered the conquest, of which the scalp is the 
certificate, no addition to his honors. 

" The Tartars," he says, " had a similar custom of 
sacrificing the dog ; and among the Kamschatkans 
was a dance resembling the dog-dance of our In- 

My friend, who joined me at Mackinaw, happened, 
on the homeward journey, to see a little Chinese 
girl, who had been sent over by one of the missions, 
and observed that, in features, complexion, and 
gesture, she was a counterpart to the little Indian 

HENRY. 221 

girls she had just seen playing about on the lake 

The parentage of these tribes is still an interest- 
ing subject of speculation, though, if they be not 
created for this region, they have become so assimi- 
lated to it as to retain little trace of any other. To 
me it seems most probable, that a peculiar race was 
bestowed on each region, as the lion on one latitude 
and the white bear on another. As man has two na- 
tures — one, like that of the plants and animals, 
adapted to the uses and enjoyments of this planet, 
another, which presages and demands a higher sphere 
— he is constantly breaking bounds, in proportion as 
the mental gets the better of the mere instinctive ex- 
istence. As yet, he loses in harmony of being what 
he gains in height and extension ; the civilized man 
is a larger mind, but a more imperfect nature than 
the savage. 

It is pleasant to meet, on the borders of these two 
states, one of those persons who combines some of 
the good qualities of both ; not, as so many of these 
adventurers do, the rapaciousness and cunning of the 
white, with the narrowness and ferocity of the sav- 
age, but the sentiment and thoughtl'ulness of the one, 
with the boldness, personal resource, and fortitude of 
the other. 

Such a person was Alexander Henry, who left 
Quebec in 1760, for Mackinaw and the Sault St. 
Marie, and remained in those regions, of which he 
has given us a most lively account, sixteen years. 

His visit to Mackinaw was premature ; the Indians 
were far from satisfied ; they hated their new inas- 



ters. From the first, the omens were threatening, 
and before many months passed, the discontent ended 
in the seizing of the fort at Mackinaw and massacre 
of its garrison ; on which occasion Henry's life was 
saved by a fine act of Indian chivalry. 

Wawatam, a distinguished chief, had found him- 
self drawn, by strong affinity, to the English stranger. 
He had adopted him as a brother, in the Indian mode. 
When he found that his tribe had determined on the 
slaughter of the whites, he obtained permission to 
take Henry away with him, if he could. But not 
being able to prevail on him, as he could not assign 
the true reasons, he went away deeply saddened, but 
not without obtaining a promise that his brother 
should not be injured. The reason he was obliged 
to go, was, that his tribe felt his affections were 
so engaged, that his self-command could not be 
depended on to keep their secret. Their promise 
was not carefully observed, and, in consequence of 
the baseness of a French Canadian in whose house 
Henry took refuge, — baseness such as has not, 
even by their foes, been recorded of any Indian, his 
life was placed in great hazard. But Wawatam re- 
turned in time to save him. The scene in which he 
appears, accompanied by his wife — who seems to 
have gone hand in hand with him in this matter — 
lays down all his best things in a heap, in the middle 
of the hall, as a ransom for the captive, and his little, 
quiet speech, are as good as the Iliad. They have 
the same simplicity, the same lively force and ten- 

Henry goes away with his adopted brother, and 

HENRY. 223 

lives for some time among the tribe. The details 
of this life are truly interesting. One time he is lost 
for several days while on the chase. The description 
of these weary, groping days, the aspect of nat- 
ural objects and of the feelings thus inspired, and the 
mental change after a good night's sleep, form a little 
episode worthy the epic muse. He stripped off the 
entire bark of a tree for a coverlet in the snow-storm, 
going to sleep with " the most distracted thoughts in 
the world, while the wolves around seemed to know 
the distress to which he was reduced ; " but he waked 
in the morning another man, clear-headed, able to 
think out the way to safety. 

"When living in the lodge, he says: " At one time 
mucli scarcity of food prevailed. We were often 
twenty-four hours without eating ; and when in the 
morning we had no victuals for the day before us, 
the custom was to black our faces with grease and 
charcoal, and exhibit, through resignation, a temperas 
cheerful as in the midst of plenty." This wise and 
dignified proceeding reminds one of a charming ex- 
pression of what is best in French character, as de- 
scribed by Rigolette, in the Mysteries of Paris, of 
the household of Pere Cretu and Ramonette. 

He bears witness to much virtue among them. 
Their superstitions, as described by him, seem child- 
like and touching. He gives with much humor, 
traits that show their sympathy witli the lower ani- 
mals, such as I have mentioned. He speaks of them 
as, on the whole, taeiturn, because their range of 
topics is so limited, and seems 10 have seen nothing 
of their talent for narration. Catlin, on the contrary, 


describes them as lively and garrulous, and says, that 
their apparent taciturnity among the whites is owing 
to their being surprised at what they see, and unwil- 
ling, from pride, to show that they are so, as well as 
that they have little to communicate on their side, 
that they think will be valuable. 

After peace was restored, and Henry lived long at 
Mackinaw and the Sault St. Marie, as a trader, the 
traits of his biography and intercourse with the In- 
dians, are told in the same bold and lively style. I 
wish I had room for many extracts, as the book is 

He made a journey one winter on snow shoes, to 
Prairie du Chien, which is of romantic interest as 
displaying his character. His companions could not 
travel nearly so fast as he did, and detained him on 
the way. Provisions fell short ; soon they were ready 
to perish of starvation. Apprehending this, on a long 
journey, in the depth of winter, broken by no hospit- 
able station, Henry had secreted some chocolate. 
When he saw his companions ready to lie down and 
die, he would heat water, boil in it a square of this, 
and give them. By the heat of the water and the 
fancy of nourishment, they would be revived, and 
induced to proceed a little further. At last they saw 
antlers sticking up from the ice, and found the body 
of an elk, which had sunk in and been frozen there, 
and thus preserved to save their lives. On this " and 
excellent soup" made from bones they found they 
were sustained to their journey's end ; thus furnish- 
ing, says Henry, one other confirmation of the truth, 
that " despair was not made for man ; " this expres- 

HENRY. 225 

sion,and his calm consideration for the Canadian wo- 
men that was willing to betray him to death, denote 
the two sides of a fine character. 

He gives an interesting account of the tribe called 
" The Weepers," on account of the rites with which 
they interrupt their feasts in honor of their friends. 

He gives this humorous notice of a chief, called 
« The Great Road." 

" The chief, to whose kindly reception we were so 
much indebted, was of a complexion rather darker 
than that of the Indians in general. His appearance 
was greatly injured by the condition of his hair, and 
this was the result of an extraordinary superstition. 

" The Indians universally fix upon a particular ob- 
ject as sacred to themselves — as the giver of pros- 
perity and as their preserver from evil. The choice 
is determined either by a dream or some strong predi- 
lection of fancy, and usually falls upon an animal, part 
of an animal, or something else which is to be met 
with by land, or by water; but the Great Road had 
made choice of his hair, placing, like Samson, all his 
safety in this portion of his proper substance ! His hair 
was the fountain of all his happiness ; it was his strength 
and his weapon — his spear and his shield. It preserved 
him in battle, directed him in the chase, watched over 
him in the march, and gave length of days to his 
wives and children. Hair, of a quality like this, was 
not to be profaned by the touch of human hands. I 
was assured that it never had been cut nor combed 
from his childhood upward, and that when any part 
of it fell from his head, he treasured that part with 
care ; meanwhile, it did not escape all care, even 


while growing on the head, but was in the especial 
charge of a spirit, who dressed it while the owner 
slept. The spirit's style of hair-dressing was pecu- 
liar, the hair being matted into ropes, which spread in 
all directions." 

I insert the following account of a visit from some 
Indians to him at Mackinaw, with a design to frighten 
him, and one to Carver, for the same purpose, as very 
descriptive of Indian manners : 

"At two o'clock in the afternoon, the Chippeways 
came to my house, about sixty in number, and 
headed by Mina-va-va-na, their chief. They walk- 
ed in single file, each with his tomahawk in one 
hand, and scalping knife in the other. Their bodies 
were naked, from the waist upwards, except in a few 
examples, where blankets were thrown loosely over 
the shoulders. Their faces were painted with char- 
coal, worked up with grease ; their bodies with white 
clay in patterns of various fancies. Some had feathers 
thrust through their noses, and their heads decorated 
with the same. It is unnecessary to dwell on the sen- 
sations with which I beheld the approach of this un- 
couth, if not frightful, assemblage." 

" Looking out, I saw about twenty naked young In- 
dians, the most perfect in their shape, and by far the 
handsomest I had ever seen, coming towards me, and 
dancing as they approached to the music of their 
drums. At every ten or twelve yards they halted, 
and set up their yells and cries. 

When they reached my tent I asked them to come 
in, which, without deigning to make me any answer, 
they did. As I observed they were painted red and 

CARVER. 227 

black, as they are when they go against an enemy, 
and perceived that some parts of the war-dance 
were intermixed with their other movements, I 
doubted not but they were set on by the hostile 
chief who refused my salutation. I therefore de- 
termined to sell my life as dearly as possible. To 
this purpose I received them sitting on my chest, 
with my gun and pistols beside me ; and ordered 
my men to keep a watchful eye on them, and be 
also on their guard. 

The Indians being entered, they continued their 
dance alternately, singing at the same time of their 
heroic exploits, and the superiority of their race over 
every other people. To enforce their language, 
though it was uncommonly nervous and expressive, 
and such as would of itself have carried terror to 
the firmest heart ; at the end of every period they 
struck their war-clubs against the poles of my tent 
with such violence, that I expected every moment 
it would have tumbled upon us. As each of them 
in dancing round passed by me, they placed their 
right hands over their eyes, and coming close to 
me, looked me steadily in the face, which I could 
not construe into a token of friendship. My men 
gave themselves up for lost ; and I acknowledge for 
my own part, that I never found my apprehensions 
more tumultuous on any occasion." 

lie mollified them, however, in the end by 

It is pity that Lord Edward Fitzgerald did not 
leave a detailed account of his journey through the 
wilderness, where he was pilot of an unknown course 


for twenty days, as Murray and Henry have of theirs. 
There is nothing more interesting than to see the 
civilized man thus thrown wholly on himself and his 
manhood, and not found at fault. 

McKenney and Hall's book upon the Indians is a 
valuable work. The portraits of the chiefs alone 
would make a history, and they are beautifully 

Most of the anecdotes may be found again in 
Drake's Book of the Indians ; which will afford a 
useful magazine to their future historian. 

I shall, however, cite a few of them, as especially 
interesting to myself. 

Of Guess, the inventor of the Cherokee alphabet, 
it was observable in the picture, and observed in the 
text, that his face had an oriental cast. The same, 
we may recall, was said of that of the Seeress of Pre- 
vorst, and the circumstance presents pleasing analogies. 
Intellect dawning through features still simple and na- 
tional, presents very different apparitions from the 
"expressive" and "historical" faces of a broken 
and cultured race, where there is always more to 
divine than to see. 

Of the picture of the Flying Pigeon, the beautiful 
and excellent woman mentioned above, a keen observer 
said, " If you cover the forehead, you would think the 
face that of a Madonna, but the forehead is still savage ; 
the perceptive faculties look so sharp, and the fore- 
head not moulded like a European forehead." This 
is very true ; in her the moral nature was most de- 
veloped, and the effect of a higher growth upon her 
face is entirely different from that upon Guess. 


His eye is interned, while the proper Indian eye 
razes steadily,, as if on a distant object. That is half 
the romance of it, that it makes yon think of dark 
and distant places in the forest. 

Guess always preferred inventing his implements 
to receiving them from others : and, when consider- 
ed as mad bv his tribe, while bent on the invention 
of his alphabet, contented himself with teaching it to 
his little daughter ; an unimpeachable witness. 

Red Jacket's face, too, is much more intellectu d 
than almost any other. But, in becoming so, it loses 
nothing of the peculiar Indian stamp, but only canies 
these traits to their perfection. Irony, discernment, 
resolution, and a deep smouldering fire, that disdains 
to flicker where it cannot blaze, may there be read. 
Nothing can better represent the sort of unfeelingness 
the whites have towards the Indians, than their conduct 
towards his remains. He bad steadily opposed the 
introduction of white religion, or manners, among the 
Indians. He believed that for them to break down 
the barriers was to perish. On many occasions he 
had expressed this witli all the force of his eloquence. 
He told the preachers, " if the Great Spirit had meant 
your religion for the red man, he would have given it 
to them. What they (the missionaries) tell us, we 
do not understand ; and the light they ask for us, 
makes the straight and plain path trod by our fathers 
dark and dreary.'' 

When he died, he charged his people to inter him 
themselves. " Dig my grave yourselves, and let not 
the white man pursue me there." In defiance of this 
last solemn request, and the invariable tenor of his 



life, the missionaries seized the body and performed 
their service over it, amid the sullen indignation of 
his people, at what, under the circumstances, was 

Of Indian religion a fine specimen is given in the 
conduct of one of the war chiefs, who, on an impor- 
tant occasion, made a vow to the sun of entire re- 
nunciation in case he should be crowned with success. 
When he was so, he first went through a fast, and 
sacrificial dance, involving great personal torment, 
and lasting several days ; then, distributing all his 
property, even his lodges, and mats, among the tribe, 
he and his family took up their lodging upon the bare 
ground, beneath the bare sky. 

The devotion of the Stylites and the hair-cloth 
saints, is in act, though not in motive, less noble, be- 
cause this great chief proposed to go on in common 
life, where he had lived as a prince — a beggar. 

The memoir by Corn Plant of his early days is 

Very fine anecdotes are told of two of the Western 
chiefs, father and son, who had the wisdom to see 
the true policy toward the whites, and steadily to ad- 
here to it. 

A murder having taken place in the jurisdiction of 
the father, he delivered himself up, with those sus- 
pected, to imprisonment. One of his companions 
chafed bitterly under confinement. He told the 
chief, if they ever got out, he would kill him, and 
did so. The son, then a boy, came in his rage and 
sorrow, to this Indian, and insulted him in every way. 
The squaw, angry at this, urged her husband •• to kill 


the boy at once." But he only replied with " the joy 
of the valiant," " He will be a great Brave," and 
then delivered himself up to atone for his victim, 
and met his death with the noblest Roman com- 

This boy became rather a great chief than a great 
brave, and the anecdotes about him are of signal 
beauty and significance. 

There is a fine story of an old mother, who gave 
herself to death instead of her son. The son, at the 
time, accepted the sacrifice, seeing, with Indian cool- 
ness, that it was better she should give up her few 
solitary and useless days, than he a young existence 
full of promise. But he could not abide by this view, 
and after suffering awhile all the anguish of remorse, 
he put himself solemnly to death in the presence of the 
tribe, as the only atonement he could make. His 
young wife stood by, with her child in her arms, com- 
manding her emotions, as he desired, for, no doubt, it 
seemed to her also, a sacred duty. 

But the finest story of all is that of Petalesharro, in 
whose tribe at the time, and not many years since, 
the custom of offering human sacrifices still subsisted. 
The fire was kindled, the victim, a young female cap- 
tive, bound to the stake, the tribe assembled round. 
The young brave darted through them, snatched the 
girl fffom her peril, placed her upon his horse, and 
both had vanished before the astonished spectators 
had thought to interpose. 

He placed the girl in her distant home, and then 
returned. Such is the might of right, when joined 
with courage, that none ventured a word of resent- 


ment or question. His father, struck by truth, en- 
deavored, and with success, to abolish the barbarous 
custom in the tribe. On a later occasion, Petalesharro 
again offered his life, if required, but it was not. 

This young warrior visiting Washington, a medal 
was presented him in honor of these acts. His reply 
deserves sculpture : " When I did it, I knew not that 
it was good. I did it in ignorance. This medal 
makes me know that it was good." 

The recorder, through his playful expressions of 
horror at a declaration so surprising to the civilized 
Good, shows himself sensible to the grand simplicity 
of heroic impulse it denotes. Were we, too, so good, 
as to need a medal to show us that we are ! 

The half-breed and half-civilized chiefs, however 
handsome, look vulgar beside the pure blood. They 
have the dignity of neither race. 

The death of Oseola, (as described by Catlin,) 
presents a fine picture in the stern, warlike kind, tak- 
ing leave with kindness, as a private friend, of the 
American officers ; but, as a foe in national regards, 
he raised himself in his dying bed, and painted his 
face with the tokens of eternal enmity. 

The historian of the Indians should be one of their 
own race, as able to sympathize with them, and pos- 
sessing a mind as enlarged and cultivated as John 
Ross, and with his eye turned to the greatness of the 
past, rather than the scanty promise of the future. 
Hearing of the wampum belts, supposed to have been 
sent to our tribes by Montezuma, on the invasion of 
the Spaniard, we feel that an Indian who could glean 
traditions familiarly from the old men, might collect 
much that we could interpret. 


Still, any clear outline, even of a portion of their 
past, is not to be hoped, and we shall be well con- 
tented if we can have a collection of genuine frag- 
ments, that will indicate as clearly their life, as 
a horse's head from the Parthenon the genius of 

Such, to me, are the stories I have cited above. 
And even European sketches of this greatness, dis- 
tant and imperfect though they be, yet convey the 
truth, if made in a sympathizing spirit. Adair's 
Red Shoes, Murray's old man, Catlin's noble Man- 
dan chief, Henry's Wa-wa-tam, with what we know T 
of Philip, Pontiac, Tecumseh and Red Jacket, would 
suffice to give the ages a glimpse at what was great 
in Indian life and Indian character. 

We hope, too, there will be a national institute, 
containing all the remains of the Indians, — all that 
has been preserved by official intercourse at Wash- 
ington, Catlin's collection, and a picture gallery as 
complete as can be made, with a collection of skulls 
from all parts of the country. To this should be 
joined the scanty library that exists on the subject. 
• I have not mentioned Mackenzie's Travel-. He 
is an accurate observer, but sparing in his records, 
because his attention was wholly bent on fiis own ob- 
jects. This circumstance gives a heroic charm to his 
scanty and simple narrative. Let what will happen, 
or who will go back, he cannot ; he must find the 
sea, along those frozen rivers, through those starving 
countries, among tribes of stinted men. whose habit- 
ual interjection was " edui, it is hard, uttered in a 
querulous tone," distrusted by his followers, deserted 


by his guides, on, on he goes, till he sees the sea, 
cold, lowering, its strand bristling with foes ; but he 
does see it. 

His few observations, especially on the tribes who 
lived on fish, and held them in such superstitious ob- 
servance, give a lively notion of the scene. 

A little pamphlet has lately been published, giving 
an account of the massacre at Chicago, which I wish 
much I had seen while there, as it would have im- 
parted an interest to spots otherwise barren. It is 
written with animation, and in an excellent style, 
telling just what we want to hear, and no more. 
The traits given of Indian generosity are as charac- 
teristic as those of Indian cruelty. A lady, who was 
saved by a friendly chief holding her under the waters of 
the lake, while the balls were whizzing around, received 
also, in the heat of the conflict, a reviving draught 
from a squaw, who saw she was exhausted ; and, as 
she lay down, a mat was hung up between her and 
the scene of butchery, so that she was protected from 
the sight, though she could not be from sounds, full 
of horror. 

I have not wished to write sentimentally about the 
Indians, however moved by the thought of their wrongs 
and speedy extinction. I know that the Europeans 
who took possession of this country, felt themselves 
justified by their superior civilization and religious 
ideas. Had they been truly civilized or Christianized, 
the conflicts which sprang from the collision of the 
two races, might have been avoided ; but this cannot 
be expected in movements made by masses of men. 
The mass has never yet been humanized, though the 
age may develop a human thought. 

M'KENNEY. 23') 

Since those conflicts and differences did arise, the 
hatred which sprang, from terror and Buffering, on the 
European side. lias naturally warped the whites still 
farther from justice. 

The Indian, brandishing the scalps of his friends 
and wife, drinking their blood and eating their hearts, 
is by him viewed as a fiend, though, at a distant day. 
he will no doubt be considered as having acted the 
Roman or Carthaginian part of heroic and patriotic 
sell-defence, according to the standard of right and 
motives prescribed by his religious faith and educa- 
tion. Looked at by his own standard, he is virtuous 
when lie most injures his enemy, and the white, if he 
be really the superior in enlargement of thought, 
ought to cast aside his inherited prejudices enough to 
see this, — to look on him in pity and brotherly good- 
will, and do all he can to mitigate the doom of those 
who survive his past injuries. 

In McKenney's book, is proposed a project for or- 
ganizing the Indians under a patriarchal government, 
but it does not look feasible, even on paper. Could 
their own intelligent men be left to act unimpeded 
in their behalf, they would do far better for them 
than the white thinker, with all his general know- 
It d. But we dare not hope the designs of such 
will not always be frustrated by the same barbarous 
selfishness they were in Georgia. There was a chance 
of seeing what might have been done, now lost for- 

Yet let every man look to himself how far this 
blood shall be required at his hands. Let the mis- 
sionary, instead of preaching to the Indian, preach to 


the trader who ruins him, of the dreadful account 
which will be demanded of the followers of Cain, in 
a sphere where the accents of purity and love come on 
the ear more decisively than in ours. Let every legis- 
lator take the subject to heart, and if he cannot undo 
the effects of past sin, try for that clear view and 
right sense that may save us from sinning still more 
deeply. And let every man and every woman, in 
their private dealings with the subjugated race, avoid 
all share in embittering, by insult or unfeeling preju- 
dice, the captivity of Israel. 



Nine days I passed alone at Mackinaw, except for 
occasional visits from kind and agreeable residents at 
the fort, and Mr. and Mrs. A. Mr. A., long engaged 
in the fur-trade, is gratefully remembered by many 
travellers. From Mrs. A., also, I received kind at- 
tentions, paid in the vivacious and graceful manner 
of her nation. 

The society at the boarding house entertained, be- 
ing of a kind entirely new to me. There were many 
traders from the remote stations, such as La Pointe, 
Arbre Croche, — men who had become half wild 
and wholly rude, by living in the wild ; but good-hu- 
mored, observing, and with a store of knowledge to 
impart, of the kind proper to their place. 

There were two little girls here, that were pleasant 
companions for me. One gay, frank, impetuous, but 
sweet and winning. ^\\e was an American, fair, and 
with bright brown hair. The other, a little French 
Canadian, used to join me in my walks, silently take 
my hand, and sit at my feet when I stopped in beau- 


tiful places. She seemed to understand without a 
word ; and I never shall forget her little figure, with 
its light, but pensive motion, and her delicate, grave 
features, with the pale, clear complexion and soft eye. 
She was motherless, and much left alone by her fa- 
ther and brothers, who were boatmen. The two lit- 
tle girls were as pretty representatives of Allegro and 
Penseroso, as one would wish to see. 

I had been wishing that a boat would come in to take 
me to the Sault St. Marie, and several times started, 
to the window at night in hopes that the pant and 
dusky-red light crossing the waters belonged to such 
an one ; but they were always boats for Chicago or 
Buffalo, till, on the 28th of August, Allegro, who 
shared my plans and wishes, rushed in to tell me that 
the General Scott had come, and, in this little steamer, 
accordingly, I set off the next morning. 

I was the only lady, and attended in the cabin by 
a Dutch girl and an Indian woman. They both 
spoke English fluently, and entertained me much by 
accounts of their different experiences. 

The Dutch girl told me of a dance among the com- 
mon people at Amsterdam, called the shepherd's 
dance. The two leaders are dressed as shepherd and 
shepherdess ; they invent to the music all kinds of 
movements, descriptive of things that may happen in 
the field, and the rest were obliged to follow. I have 
never heard of any dance which gave such free play 
to the fancy as this. French dances merely describe 
the polite movements of society ; Spanish and Nea- 
politan, love ; the beautiful Mazurkas, &c, are war- 


like or expressive of wild scenery. But in this one 
is great room both £ot fun and fancy* 

The Indian was married, when young, by her pa- 
rents, to a man she did not love. He became dissi- 
pated, and did not maintain her. She left him. 
taking with her their child ; for whom and herself she 
earns a subsistence by going as chambermaid in 
these boats. Now and then, she said, her husband 
called on her, and asked if he might live with her 
again ; but she always answered, no. Here she was 
far freer than she would have been in civilized life. 

I was pleased by the nonchalance of this woman, 
and the perfectly national manner she had preserved 
after so many years of contact with all kinds of peo- 
ple. The two women, when I left the boat, made 
me presents of Indian work, such as travellers value, 
and the manner of the two was characteristic of their 
different nations. The Indian brought me hers, when 
I was alone, looked bashfullv down when she save it, 
and made an almost sentimental little speech. The 
Dutch girl brought hers in public, and, bridling her 
short chin with a self-complacent air, observed she 
had bought it for me. But the feeling of affectionate 
regard was tfie same in the minds of both. 

Island after island we passed, all fairly shaped and 
clustering friendly, but with little variety of vegetation. 

In the afternoon the weather became foggy, and 
we could not proceed after dark. That was as dull 
an evening as ever fell. 

The next morning the fog still lay heavy, but 
the captain took me out in his boat on an ex- 
ploring expedition, and we found the remains of 


the old English fort on Point St. Joseph's. All 
around was so wholly unmarked by anything but 
stress of wind and weather, the shores of these 
islands and their woods so like one another, wild and 
lonely, but nowhere rich and majestic, that there was 
some charm in the remains of the garden, the re- 
mains even of chimneys and a pier. They gave fea- 
ture to the scene. 

Here I gathered many flowers, but they were the 
same as at Mackinaw. 

The captain, though he had been on this trip hun- 
dreds of times, had never seen this spot, and never 
would, but for this fog, and his desire to entertain me. 
He presented a striking instance how men, for the 
sake of getting a living, forget to live. It is just the 
same in the most romantic as the most dull and vul- 
gar places. Men get the harness on so fast, that they 
can never shake it off, unless they guard against this 
danger from the very first. In Chicago, how many 
men, who never found time to see the prairies or learn 
anything unconnected with the business of the day, 
or about the country they were living in ! 

So this captain, a man of strong sense and good 
eyesight, rarely found time to go off the track or look 
about him on it. He lamented, too, that there had 
been no call which induced him to develop his pow- 
ers of expression, so that he might communicate what 
he had seen, for the enjoyment or instruction of 

This is a common fault among the active men, the 
truly living, who could tell what life is. It should not 
be so. Literature should not be left to the mere lit- 

st. Joseph's. 241 

erati — eloquence to the mere orator. Every Casar 
should be able to write his own commentary. We 
want a more equal, more thorough, more harmonious 
development, and there is nothing to hinder from it 
the men of this country, except their own supine- 
ness, or sordid views. 

When the weather did clear, our course up the 
river was delightful. Long stretched before us the 
island of St. Joseph's, with its fair woods of sugar 
maple. A gentleman on board, who belongs to the 
Fort at the Sault, said their pastime was to come in 
the season of making sugar, and pass some time on 
this island, — the days at work, and the evening in 
dancing and other amusements. 

I wished to extract here Henry's account of this, 
for it was just the same sixty years ago as now, but 
have already occupied too much room with extracts. 
Work of this kind done in the open air, where every- 
thing is temporary, and every utensil prepared on the 
spot, gives life a truly festive air. At such times, 
there is labor and no care — energy with gaiety, 
gaiety of the heart. 

I think with the same pleasure of the Italian vint- 
age, the Scotch harvest-home, with its evening dance 
in the barn, the Russian cabbage-feast even, and our 
huskings and hop-gatherings — the hop-gatherings 
where the groups of men and girls are pulling down 
and filling baskets with the gay festoons, present as 
graceful pictures as the Italian vintage. 

I should also like to insert Henry's descriptions of 
the method of catching trout and white fish, the 
delicacies of this region, for the same reason as I want 



his account of the Gens de Terre, the savages among 
savages, and his tales, dramatic, if not true, of can- 

I have no less grieved to omit Carver's account of 
the devotion of a Winnebago prince at the Falls of 
St. Anthony, which he describes with a simplicity 
and intelligence, that are very pleasing. 

I take the more pleasure in both Carver and Hen- 
ry's power of appreciating what is good in the Indian 
character, that both had run the greatest risk of losing 
their lives during their intercourse with the Indians, 
and had seen them in their utmost exasperation, with 
all its revolting circumstances. 

I wish I had a thread long enough to string on it 
all these beads that take my fancy ; but, as I have not, 
I can only refer the reader to the books themselves, 
which may be found in the library of Harvard Col- 
lege, if not elsewhere. 

How pleasant is the course along a new river, the 
sight of new shores ; like a life, would but life flow as 
fast, and upbear us with as full a stream. I hoped we 
should come in sight of the rapids by daylight ; but 
the beautiful sunset was quite gone, and only a young 
moon trembling over the scene, when we came within 
hearing of them. 

I sat up long to hear them merely. It was a 
thoughtful hour. These two days, the 29th and 30th 
August, are memorable in my life ; the latter is the 
birth-day of a near friend. I pass them alone, 
approaching Lake Superior ; but I shall not enter 
into that truly wild and free region ; shall not have 
the canoe voyage, whose daily adventure, with the 

EDITH. ,' h'J 

camping out at night beneath the stars, would have 
given an interlude of such value to my existence. I 
shall not see the Pictured Rocks, their chapelfl and 
urns. It did not depend on me ; it never has, 
whether such things shall be done or not. 

My friends ! may they see, and do, and be more, 
especially those who have before them a greater 
number of birthdays, and of a more healthy and 
unfettered existence : 


If the same star our fates together bind, 
Why are we thus divided, mind from mind ? 
If the same law one grief to both impart, 
How could'st thou grieve a trusting mother's heart ? 

Our aspiration seeks a common aim, 
Why were we tempered of such differing frame ? 
— But 'tis too late to turn this wrong to right ; 
Too cold, too damp, too deep, has fallen the night. 

And yet, the angel of my life replies, 
Up«»n that night a Morning Star shall rise, 
Fairer than that which ruled the temporal birth, 
Undimmed by vapors of the dreamy earth ; 

It says, that, where a heart thy claim denies, 
'Genius shall read its Becrel ere it flies; 
The earthly form may vanish from thy Bide, 
Pure love will make thee still the spirit's bride. 

And thou, ungentle, yet much loving child, 

Whose heart still shows the" untamed haggard wild/' 
A heart which justly makes the highest claim, 
Too easily is checked hy transient blame; 


Ere such an orb can ascertain its sphere, 
The ordeal must be various and severe ; 
My prayers attend thee, though the feet may fly, 
I hear thy music in the silent sky. 

I should like, however, to hear some notes of 
earthly music to-night. By the faint moonshine I 
can hardly see the banks ; how they look I have no 
guess, except that there are trees, and, now and 
then, a light lets me know there are homes with 
their various interests. I should like to hear some 
strains of the flute from beneath those trees, just to 
break the sound of the rapids. 

When no gentle eyebeam charms ; 
No fond hope the bosom warms ; 
Of thinking the lone mind is tired — 
Nought seems bright to be desired ; 

Music, be thy sails unfurled, 
Bear me to thy better world ; 
O'er a cold and weltering sea, 
Blow thy breezes warm and free ; 

By sad sighs they ne'er were chilled, 

By sceptic spell were never stilled ; 

Take me to that far-offshore, 

Where lovers meet to part no more ; 

There doubt, and fear and sin are o'er, 
The star of love shall set no more. 

With the first light of dawn I was up and out, 
and then was glad I had not seen all the night 
before ; it came upon me with such power in 

RAPIDS. 245 

its dewy freshness. O ! they arc beautiful indeed, 
these rapids ! The grace is so much more ob- 
vious than the power. I went up through the old 
Chippeway burying ground to their head, and sat 

down on a large stone to look. A little way off 
was one of the home lodges, unlike in shape to 
the temporary ones at Mackinaw, hut these have 
been described by Mrs. Jameson. Women, too, I 
saw coming home from the woods, stooping under 
great loads of cedar boughs, that were strapped 
upon their backs. But in many European coun- 
tries women carry great loads, even of wood, upon 
their backs. I used to hear the girls singing and laugh- 
ing as they were cutting down boughs at Mackinaw ; 
this part of their employment, though laborious, 
gives them the pleasure of being a great deal in the 
free woods. 

I had ordered a canoe to take me down the rapids, 
and presently I saw it coming, with the two Indian 
canoe-men in pink calico shirts, moving it about with 
their long poles, with a grace and dexterity worthy 
fairy land. Now and then they cast the scoop-net ; 
all looked just as I had fancied, only far prettier. 

When they came to me, they spread a mat in the 
middle of the canoe ; I sat down, and in less than 
four minutes we had descended the rapids, a distance 
of more than three quarters of a mile. I was some- 
what disappointed in this being no more of an exploit 
than I found it. Having heard such expressions used 
as of " darting," or, "shooting down," these rapids, 
I had fancied there was a wall of rock souk where, 
where descent would somehow be accomplished, and 



that there would come some one gasp of terror and 
delight, some sensation entirely new to me ; but I 
found myself in smooth water, before I had time to 
feel anything but the buoyant pleasure of being car- 
ried so lightly through this surf amid the breakers. 
Now and then the Indians spoke to one another in a 
vehement jabber, which, however, had no tone that 
expressed other than pleasant excitement. It is, no 
doubt, an act of wonderful dexterity to steer amid 
these iasrged rocks, when one rude touch would tear 
a hole in the birch canoe ; but these men are evi- 
dently so used to doing it, and so adroit, that the 
silliest person could not feel afraid. I should like 
to have come down twenty times, that I might have 
had leisure to realize the pleasure. But the fog 
which had detained us on the way, shortened the 
boat's stay at the Sault, and I wanted my time to 
walk about. 

While coming down the rapids, the Indians 
caught a white-fish for my breakfast ; and cer- 
tainlv it was the best of breakfasts. The white- 
fish I found quite another thing caught on this 
spot, and cooked immediately, from what I had 
found it at Chicago or Mackinaw. Before, I had 
had the bad taste to prefer the trout, despite the 
solemn and eloquent remonstrances of the Habi- 
tues, to whom the superiority of white fish seem- 
ed a cardinal point of faith. 

I am here reminded that I have omitted that indis- 
pensable part of a travelling journal, the account of 
what we found to eat. I cannot hope to make up, 
by one bold stroke, all my omissions of daily record ; 


but that I may show mys If not destitute of the com- 
mon feelings of humanity, I will observe that he 
whose affections turn in summer towards vegetables, 

should not come to this region, till the subject of diet 
be better understood ; that of fruit, too, there is little 
yet, even at the best hotel tables; -that the prairie 
chickens require no praise from me, and that the trout 
and white-fish are worthy the transparency of the 
lake waters. 

In this brief mention I by no means mean to give 
myself an air of superiority to the subject. If a din- 
ner in the Illinois woods, on dry bread and drier 
meat, with water from the stream that flowed hard 
by, pleased me best of all, yet at one time, when 
living at a house where nothing was prepared for the 
table fit to touch, and even the bread could not be 
partaken of without a headach in consequence, I 
learnt to understand and sympathize with the anxious 
tone in which fathers of families, about to take their 
innocent children into some scene of wild beauty, ask 
first of all, " Is there agood table ?" I shall ask just so 
in future. Only those whom the Powers have furnish- 
ed small travelling cases of ambrosia, can take ezerci 
all day, and be happy without even bread morning or 

Our voyage back was all pleasure. It was the 
fairest clay. I saw the river, the islands, the clouds to 
the greatest advantage. 

On board was an old man, an Illinois farmer, whom 
I found a most agreeable companion, lb' had just 
been with his son, and eleven Other young men, on an 
exploring expedition to the shores of lake Superior. 
He was the only old man of the party, but lie had 


enjoyed, most of any, the journey. He had been the 
counsellor and playmate, too, of the young ones. He 
was one of those parents, — why so rare ? — who un- 
derstand and live a new life in that of their children, 
instead of wasting time and young happiness in try- 
ing to make them conform to an object and standard 
of their own. The character and history of each 
child may be a new and poetic experience to the pa- 
rent, if he will let it. Our farmer was domestic, ju- 
dicious, solid ; the son, inventive, enterprising, super- 
ficial, full of follies, full of resources, always liable to 
failure, sure to rise above it. The father conformed 
to, and learnt from, a character he could not change, 
and won the sweet from the bitter. 

His account of his life at home, and of his late 
adventures among the Indians, was very amusing, but 
I want talent to write it down. I have not heard 
the slang of these people intimately enough. There 
is a good book about Indiana, called the New Pur- 
chase, written by a person who knows the people of 
the country well enough to describe them in their 
own way. It is not witty, but penetrating, valuable 
for its practical wisdom and good-humored fun. 

There were many sportsman stories told, too, by 
those from Illinois and Wisconsin. I do not retain 
any of these well enough, nor any that I heard ear- 
lier, to write them down, though they always interest- 
ed me from bringing wild, natural scenes before 
the mind. It is pleasant for the sportsman to be in 
countries so alive with game ; yet it is so plenty that 
one would think shooting pigeons or grouse would seem 
more like slaughter, than the excitement of skill to a 


good sportsman. Hunting the deer is full of adven- 
ture, and needs only a Scropeto describe it to invest 
the western woods with historic associations. 

How pleasant it was to sit and hear rough men tell 
pieces out of their own common lives, in place of the 
frippery talk of some fine circle with its conventional 
sentiment, and timid, second-hand criticism. Free 
blew the wind, and boldly flowed the stream, named 
for Mary mother mild. 

A fine thunder shower came on in the afternoon. 
It cleared at sunset, just as we came in sight of beau- 
tiful Mackinaw, over which a rainbow bent in pro- 
mise of peace. 

I have always wondered, in reading travels, at the 
childish joy travellers felt at meeting people they 
knew, and their sense of loneliness when they did 
not, in places where there was ever} thing new to oc- 
cupy the attention. So childish, I thought, always to 
be longing for the new in the old, and the old in the 
nev. . Yet just such sadness I felt, when I looked 
on the island, glittering in the sunset, canopied by 
the rainbow, and thought no friend would welcome 
me there ; just such childish joy I felt, to sec unex- 
pectedly on the landing, the face of one whom I call- 
ed friend. 

The remaining two or three days were delightfully 
spent, in walking or boating, or sitting at the window 
to see the Indians go. This was not quite so pleas- 
ant as their coming in, though accomplished with 
the same rapidity ; a family not taking half an hour 
to prepare for departure, and the departing canoe a 
beautiful object. Bui they left behind, on all the 


shore, the blemishes of their stay — old rags, dried 
boughs, fragments of food, the marks of their fires. 
Nature likes to cover up and gloss over spots and 
scars, but it would take her some time to restore that 
beach to the state it was in before they came. 

S. and I had a mind for a canoe excursion, and 
we asked one of the traders to engage us two good 
Indians, that would not only take us out, but be sure 
and bring us back, as we could not hold converse 
with them. Two others offered their aid, beside the 
chief's son, a fine looking youth of about sixteen, 
richly dressed in blue broadcloth, scarlet sash and leg- 
gins, with a scarf of brighter red than the rest, tied 
around his head, its ends falling gracefully on one 
shoulder. They thought it, apparently, fine amuse- 
ment to be attending two white women ; they carried 
us into the path of the steamboat, which was going 
out, and paddled with all their force, — rather too 
fast, indeed, for there was something of a swell on 
the lake, and they sometimes threw water into the 
canoe. However, it flew over the waves, light as a 
sea-gull. They would say, "Pull away," and " Ver' 
warm," and, after these words, would laugh gaily. 
They enjoyed the hour, I believe, as much as we. 

The house where we lived belonged to the widow 
of a French trader, an Indian by birth, and wearing 
the dress of her country. She spoke French fluently, 
and was very ladylike in her manners. She is a 
great character among them. They were all the 
time coming to pay her homage, or to get her aid 
and advice ; for she is, I am told, a shrewd wo- 
man of business. My companion carried about her 


sketch-book with her, and the Indians were inter- 
ested when they saw her using her pencil, though 
less so than about the sun-shade. This lady of the 
tribe wanted to borrow the sketches of the beach, 
with its lodges and wild groups, " to show to the 
savages," she said. 

Of the practical ability of the Indian women, a 
good specimen is given by McKenney, in an amusing 
story of one who went to Washington, and acted 
her part there in the " first circles," with a tact and 
sustained dissimulation worthy of Cagliostro. She 
seemed to have a thorough love of intrigue lor its 
own sake, and much dramatic talent. Like the 
chiefs of her nation, when on an expedition among 
the foe, whether for revenge or profit, no impulses 
of vanity or wayside seductions had power to turn 
her aside from carrying out her plan as she had origi- 
nally projected it. 

Although I have little to tell, I feel that I have 
learnt a great deal of the Indians, from observing 
them even in this broken and degraded condition. 
There is a language of eye and motion which cannot 
be put into words, and which teaches what words 
never can. 1 feel acquainted with the soul of this 
race ; I read its nobler thought in their defaced 
figures. There ivas a greatness, unique and precious, 
which he who does not feel will never duly appre- 
ciate the majesty of nature in this American con- 

I have mentioned that the Indian orator, who 
addressed the agents on this occasion, said, the 
difference between the white man and the red 


man is this : " the white man no sooner came here, 
than he thought of preparing the way for his pos- 
terity ; the red man never thought of this." I was 
assured this was exactly his phrase ; and it defines 
the true difference. We get the better because 
we do 

"Look before and after." 

But, from the same cause, we 

" Pine for what is not.". 

The red man, when happy, was thoroughly happy ; 
when good, was simply good. He needed the 
medal, to let him know that he was good. 

These evenings we were happy, looking over the 
old-fashioned garden, over the beach, over the waters 
and pretty island opposite, beneath the growing 
moon ; we did not stay to see it full at Mackinaw. 
At two o'clock, one night, or rather morning, the 
Great Western came snorting in, and we must go ; 
and Mackinaw, and all the north-west summer, is 
now to me no more than picture and dream ; — 

"A dream within a dream." 

These last days at Mackinaw have been pleasanter 
than the "lonesome" nine, for I have recovered the 
companion with whom I set out from the East, one 
who sees all, prizes all, enjoys much, interrupts never. 

At Detroit we stopped for half a day. This place 
is famous in our history, and the unjust anger at its 
surrender is still expressed by almost every one who 


passes there. I had always shared the common feel- 
ing on this subject ; for the indignation at a disgrace* 

to our arms that seemed so unnccessay, lias been 
handed down from father to child, and few of us 
have taken the pains to ascertain where the blame 
lay. But now, upon the spot, having read all the 
testimony, I felt convinced that it should rest solely 
with the government, which, by neglecting to sustain 
General Hull,- as he had a right to expect they would, 
compelled him to take this step, or sacrifice many 
lives, and of the defenceless inhabitants, not of sol- 
diers, to the cruelty of a savage foe, for the sake .of 
his reputation. 

I am a woman, and unlearned in such affairs ; but, 
to a person with common sense and good eyesight, it 
is clear, when viewing the location, that, under the 
circumstances, he had no prospect of successful de- 
fence, and that to attempt it would have been an act 
of vanity, not valor. 

I feel that I am not biased in this judgment by my 
personal relations, for I have always heard both sides, 
and, though my feelings had been moved by the pic- 
ture of the old man sitting down, in the midst of his 
children, to a retired and despoiled old age, after a 
life of honor and happy intercourse with the public, 
yet tranquil, always secure that justice must be done 
at last, I supposed, like others, that he deceived 
himself, and deserved to pay the penalty for fail- 
ure to the responsibility he had undertaken. Now 
on the spot, I change, and believe the country at 
large must, ere long, change from this opinion. And 
I wish to add my testimony, however trilling its 


weight, before it be drowned in the voice of general 
assent, that I may do some justice to the feelings 
which possessed me here and now. 

A noble boat, the Wisconsin, was to be launched this 
afternoon, the whole town was out in many-colored 
array, the band playing. Our boat swept round to a 
good position, and all was ready but — the Wiscon- 
sin, which could not be made to stir. This was quite 
a disappointment. It would have been an imposing 

In the boat many signs admonished that we were 
floating eastward. A shabbily dressed phrenologist 
laid his hand on every head which would bend, with 
half-conceited, half-sheepish expression, to the trial 
of his skill. Knots of people gathered here and there 
to discuss points of theology. A bereaved lover was 
seeking religious consolation in — Butler's Analogy, 
which he had purchased for that purpose. However, 
he did not turn over many pages before his attention 
was drawn aside by the gay glances of certain dam- 
sels that came on board at Detroit, and, though But- 
ler might afterwards be seen sticking from his pocket, 
it had not weight to impede him from many a feat of 
lightness and liveliness. I doubt if it went with him 
from the boat. Some there were, even, discussing 
the doctrines of Fourier. It seemed pity they were 
not going to, rather than from, the rich and free 
country where it would be so much easier, than with 
us, to try the great experiment of voluntary associa- 
tion, and show, beyond a doubt, that " an ounce of 
prevention is worth a pound of cure," a maxim of 


the "wisdom of nations," which has proved of little 
practical efficacy as yet. 

Better to stop before landing at Buffalo, while I 
have yet the advantage over some of my readers. 



To see your cousin in her country home, 

If at the time of blackberries you come, 

" Welcome, my friends," she cries with ready glee, 

" The fruit is ripened, and the paths are free. 

But, madam, you will tear that handsome gown ; 

The little boy be sure to tumble down ; 

And, in the thickets where they ripen best, 

The matted ivy, too, its bower has drest. 

And then, the thorns your hands are sure to rend, 

Unless with heavy gloves you will defend ; 

Amid most thorns the Bweetest rosea Wow, 

Amid most thorns the sweetest berries orow." 


If, undeterred, you to the fields must go, 

You tear your dresses and you scratch your hands ; 

But, in the places where the berries grow, 
A sweeter fruit the ready sense commands, 

Of wild, gay feelings, fancies springing sweet — 

Of bird-like pleasures, fluttering and fleet. 

Another year, you cannot go yourself, 

To win the berries from the thickets wild, 

And housewife skill, instead, has filled the shelf 

With blackberry jam, " by best receipts compiled,- 


Not made with country sugar, for too strong 
The flavors that to maple juice belong ; 
But foreign sugar, nicely mixed ' to suit 
The taste,' spoils not the fragrance of the fruit." 

'T is pretty good," half-tasting, you reply, 

I scarce should know it from fresh blackberry. 

But the best pleasure such a fruit can yield, 

Is to be gathered in the open field ; 

If only as an article of food, 

Cherry or crab-apple are quite as good ; 

And, for occasions of festivity, 

West India sweetmeats you had better buy." 

Thus, such a dish of homely sweets as these 
In neither way may chance the taste to please. 

Yet try a little with the evening-bread; 
Bring a good needle for the spool of thread ; 
Take fact with fiction, silver with the lead, 
And, at the mint, you can get gold instead ; 
In fine, read me, even as you would be read.